No matter how we think we know someone, there will always be instances when understanding them seems like a mind game. It is even harder if you are the misunderstood one, especially in the context of a relationship.
Many reasons make it hard for your partner to relate to your emotions. It could be that you do not know how to communicate, or you are too passive, or maybe you get angry right away. Whatever the case is, I know how frustrating it is to be misinterpreted by the person you expect to know you well. To help you out, here are some ways to make your girlfriend understand you.
1. Make your statements more personal.
When you and your partner discuss an issue, avoid using “you” all the time. You might tend to complain by starting with phrases like “You do not…” or “You have always been…” It might sound like you are accusing your girlfriend, which may only fuel the fire. Using “I” statements is best, such as “I feel upset when you did that.” It is a way to establish a conversation that expresses how you’re feeling instead of blaming your partner.
2. Make your statements direct.
You should also consider how your partner may feel as much as you want to expose all your worries in one discussion. You might end up overwhelming her, which may only lead to another misunderstanding. Be open about your emotions, but keep it short and direct. Do not try to over-explain or bombard her with your emotional burdens.
3. Make sure you understand your partner.
It takes two to tango. You can’t be the only one who has to be understood. It might be hard for your girlfriend to look at your point of view if you also misinterpret her. You have to know what’s bothering them and their thoughts before you try to respond and prove yourself. Take note: emotional connection is a significant factor for a relationship to work. It will always be a problem if you expect your partner to understand you while you cannot make an effort to do the same.
4. Stay calm.
Some people tend to raise their voices when caught in an argument. Couples could not find a middle ground because they would rather focus on rebuttals than weigh things out. You need to be conscious of your volume and tone. Keep it low and respectful. Shouting only diminishes your ability to listen and be heard.
5. Relax your body.
A person’s body language speaks volumes of how they are feeling. If your partner is a keen observer of your gestures, it may affect her responses. She might find it harder to get what you mean if your body contradicts your words. Although it is sometimes hard to control your physical reaction, especially when anxious, it helps to be as calm as possible. Breathe in and breathe out. Control your body to help you communicate complex emotions.
6. Normalize sharing how you feel.
As a couple, you have to make it a habit to include your emotions in your daily conversations. Remember, a healthy relationship should allow you to express yourself without making you feel judged or dismissed. You have to create an environment where both of you do not walk on eggshells every time you need to say something. Start by asking how your girlfriend’s day went. Try to make the talk more meaningful as you go along.
7. Do not expect your partner understands you all the time.
Your girlfriend is not a mind reader. The time you have been together as a couple does not guarantee that all her interpretations about you will be accurate. You cannot just feel bad about something and wait for her to comfort you even without saying anything. It is also unfair to start a fight because you think she neglects you. Be clear about your feelings. Avoid being passive-aggressive. If communicating is difficult for you, let your partner know and take it one step at a time.
8. Never ask your partner to change.
Sometimes people long too much to be understood that they want the other person to change their views. You have to resist that. When you talk about your feelings, it is best to share only your own experiences. Do not switch the issue to your partner or anyone else. You have to be willing to accept criticisms and not take them personally. It is a way to open more possibilities on how you could understand each other.
9. Do not expect your partner to solve things for you.
Your girlfriend may find it hard to see you being upset, but she should stop the urge to fix things. It is okay to long for her comfort, but do not make it sound like she has an obligation to do something. She does not even have to give any advice. Let her know there is no need for her to try harder; you just want her to be there and understand how you feel.
10. Understand her language.
If you and your partner communicate differently, you should also try to speak her language. In return, she should also understand how you communicate. Remember, understanding and listening are two different things.
11. Avoid talking if you are at the height of your emotions.
Explaining your side in the middle of a heated argument can be chaotic. It is not the best time to connect if your emotions are taking over you. Your significant other will find it easier to relate to you if you calm down and follow your rational mind. Take note that you fail to hear each other out when both of you are consumed by your emotions.
12. Do not hesitate to take a rest.
If things are getting more unbearable, it is crucial to think about your mental health. You have to take a time out. Do not compel yourself to stay in a situation that only drains you. Of course, it is terrible to dismiss your partner and shrug the issue under the rug. Do not do that. You just have to take a pause from the conversation and find a breather. You can go outside and take a walk or find any activity that can distract your mind for a few minutes.
Once you feel better, reconvene. Taking a short rest allows you to clear your mind, calm yourself, and respond more logically.
13. Be reasonable with your expectations.
Being in a relationship requires you to accept that you cannot be on the same page all the time. Your partner may have been through experiences that are totally different from yours. Thus, you have to expect that it would be hard for her to get what you mean at some point. Both of you should develop an emotional understanding by consistently communicating and expressing your emotions.
Understanding each other is one of the most essential ingredients to maintaining the spice of a relationship. Nothing is much sweeter than knowing your partner gets you and empathizes with you. Help your girlfriend understand you, and make an effort to understand her as well. It is not easy, but a relationship is always a two-way street.