My boyfriend and I have been going out for 2 years as of December 2010. But I still haven't learned how to communicate with him. Whenever I feel uncomfortable or hurt I just bottle it up inside to the point where I am just furious at him. I don't want to talk to him about the way I feel most times because I don't want him to think that I am trying to change him or that I'm being a nag. Then when I practically have a tantrum at him he's so confused and doesn't know what he did wrong - fair enough. So how the hell do I say these things in a non-naggy, nice way so that I don't confuse him and so I don't EXPLODE!?
Most Helpful Girl
Well, you've already identified what the problem is. Next time you're uncomfortable or hurt, say something about it.
Good communication might not happen right away. Sometimes its a process of getting to know what works best in terms of talking and relating to each other.
To me, the key parts of good communication are:
- talking; letting the other person know what's up in a way that's clear. This means that you should take some time to think about how you're feeling, why you're feeling that way, what you would like to change or whatever/what your expectations are/what you need, etc. so that you're able to articulate that clearly to your partner. This is also part of how you differentiate between a legitimate concern and simply "nagging": sometimes we get upset about things that are unreasonable or not worth getting upset about. Think about why you're upset and are your reasons good ones.
- listening (and actually hearing and understanding each other); this means being able to put yourself in each others' shoes. Sometimes you might not feel the same way about an issue, but you try to understand it from the other person's point of view. My partner and I find that sometimes using analogies helps if you don't see eye-to-eye on the topic at hand.
- coming to an agreement/resolution; sometimes you might end up on the same page; sometimes an apology is warranted and maybe a plan of action to prevent whatever it is that upset you from happening again, or sometimes you have to admit that you were wrong for getting upset.
But---communication is a tricky thing. One person might be really good at communicating (or at least want to get really good at it), but if the other person isn't receptive, then its going to be very difficult. Like, if he doesn't see the importance of having a conversation about something, he might just see it as nagging. I guess that's the tricky part---he needs to be on the same page with you in wanting to discuss things and work them out, and wanting to know if something bothers or upsets you.1