Updated: Sep 5, 2022
We use our words to communicate our needs and feelings, express ourselves, convey meaning and emotion, and share stories with those around us. The power of words is undeniable, though we often underestimate the power they have in our lives and relationships.
Here we share with you some simple yet powerful statements that can change your relationship for the better and can help to improve communication and connection between you and your love.
"I need help with..."
Asking for help can be hard for many reasons - maybe you are worried your partner won't be receptive, or perhaps the unrealistic expectations you hold (of yourself or your partner) are getting in the way of you asking for support.
Clearly communicating your needs, rather than expecting your partner to guess, helps to avoid misunderstandings, and gives your partner the opportunity to show up for you in the way you need. We all need help sometimes, so be gentle with yourself and give yourself permission to ask for help when you need it.
"What do you mean?"
When we don't know the meaning behind what someone said or did, we might end up creating stories that aren't true to help explain what they meant. The solution - just ask!
Asking for clarity and having these hard yet courageous conversations with your partner will lead to better understanding and deeper connection.
"I need to press pause."
Taking space and having some deep breaths can help stop you from becoming overwhelmed, emotionally flooded, shutting down, or saying things that you don't mean.
Pressing pause during a moment of heightened emotion gives you both a chance to self regulate and come back together again when you are both in a calmer place.
Don't say "it's okay" if it's really not okay.
Pretending that things are okay when they aren't can lead to avoidance, passive aggressive behaviours, tension and conflict. The truth is, you can't address something if you aren't willing to talk about it. Even if the conversation might feel hard or uncomfortable, it's much better to talk about any issues (when you are both ready) than ignore, dismiss, or avoid them.
If your partner asks you for something that you are unable or unwilling to give them, it is okay to be clear on your limits.
Maybe your cup is empty and you don't have the time, energy or capacity to give them what it is they are asking, or maybe you just don't want to, and that is also okay. You might feel you are disappointing your partner in the short-term, but you don't want your "yes" to mean you harbor resentment or animosity in the long-term.
Communicating openly and honestly with your partner, even when it feels hard, is one of the best ways to ensure you're both on the same page, and it also helps to minimize conflict that can arise from unmet needs or misunderstandings.