Pitfalls in Relationship Change

Many couples rate the quality of their relationship according to the amount they agree or disagree. They even pit their entire relationships on the amount of disagreement. Reality check: We will never agree totally with anyone else on the planet! Because we were each born and raised at different times and places, we each have different perspective on what’s going on. That perspective is uniquely our own. Nobody else can share in this perspective. The best we can do is hope for gradually improved understanding (versus the mutually assured destruction of emphasizing how much we disagree). This makes the time and space we devote to ourselves – and to each other – strikingly important!

Many couples get caught up in using words to communicate. Estimates vary, but sometimes even more than 90% of communication is non-verbal, including tone of voice, body position and posture, and other aspects of communication which convey interest, respect, or the lack thereof. Language is a severely limited way of communicating. The words we use to communicate have different meanings depending on upbringing and culture. They even depend on whether we can hear, see, or touch the person who is trying to communicate with us.

Many couples ask for love and respect but don’t show their partners what they mean by it. Consider how to show love and respect with your bodies. Our thoughts and feelings go far deeper than what we say. Turn towards one another to show interest. Raise an eyebrow or two to show curiosity, wonder, or awe. Try the empathy exercise.

Dawson Psychological Services

Dr. K.A. Dawson, Registered Psychologist (CPBC #1566)

Kim Dawson

1790 Barrie Road

Victoria, BC V8N2W7 Canada


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