We’ve all heard it, “communication is key.” Yet, 65% of divorces list “communication” as the reason. What’s interesting is that we communicate every second of every day. So, what communication are they talking about. You can frown at your spouse – that’s communicating. You can stare at your phone while they are talking – that’s communicating. So, what does “communication is key” actually mean?
Many people take the “communication is key” and they think, “I need to start talking more. I need to tell my husband how I really feel. I need to tell him what is bothering me and what I need/want from him. I need to tell him every.single.thing. This becomes an issue because the communication turns negative. Your husband hears all the ways he is falling short, all the ways you’re not happy. For some reason, we don’t see that communication also means telling them what you appreciate about them, what they are doing well, how much you love them or miss them.
Communication is 93% nonverbal. That means your tone of voice, your body language, and the look on your face. Only 7% of communication is actually the words that come out of your mouth.
Here lies the issue with “communication is key.” Most of us were never actually taught how to communicate well. We see communication based off of our high school or college class, we learned it by how our parents spoke to each other, or what our marriage counselor has told us to say. Yet, with the divorce rate being above 50%… it seems that what we have learned, what we know, the advice we’ve been given by “professionals” is not working.
So, what do we do? We need to up our communication skills. We need to learn the skills that actually work.
What it really comes down to is honoring the person you’re talking to. Knowing who they are, their strengths, their weaknesses, and ultimately their unique language. Yes, they may speak English like you and myself, but each person and personality has a completely different vocabulary. When you can learn these things and honor them in it, that is when you can finally overcome the communication barrier. That is when you start to feel heard, that is when your spouse actually hears you. You tear down the brick wall and reconnect.