The 21-Day Relationship Reset Challenge Day One: Reset Your Pattern of Communication

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dreamstime_xxl_89251993Communication is traditionally defined as a two-way process of reaching mutual understanding in which the participants not only exchange information, ideas, and feelings by encoding (sending) and decoding (receiving) messages, but also create and share the meaning of those messages through spoken words and body language (gestures) to further express and confirm understanding.

Based on the concepts expressed in the definition of the communication process as highlighted above, we can conclude that the communication process is most effective and efficient when both participants feel comfortable enough in their relationship to freely express themselves from a place of complete honesty and mutual respect for each other’s point-of-view.

Conversely, we can also conclude that the opposite is be true because the communication process can become ineffective, inefficient, cumbersome, and counterproductive whenever something interferes with the participants’ ability to efficiently and effectively send, receive, process, and interpret messages.

Those “somethings,” also referred to as “breakdowns” in the communication process, are the primary threat to the overall health and stability of our relationships.  Why?  Because they misconstrue the purpose that initiated the communicative exchange in the first place.  We need to work toward changing this, which is why the first day of the “The 21-Day Relationship Reset Challenge” will encourage you to “Reset Your Pattern of Communication.”

The Importance of Self-Assessment

Before you can reset your pattern of communication, you must first identify your communication style (either passive, aggressive, passive-aggressive, or assertive).  Understanding your style will help you to better understand why you express yourself the way you do, which will make it easier for you to figure out what you need to do to improve your communication skills, overall.

After you’ve identified your communication style, you should take some time to think about how you come across to others—especially your significant other.  For example, does your assertive communication style make you come across as being bitchy, inconsiderate, bossy, nagging, etc.; even when you’re not trying to be difficult?  Does your significant other see you as being confrontational, even when there’s no conflict brewing between the two of you because you tend to communicate in an aggressive style?

This process of self-assessment will require you to take a long, honest look at how you communicate.  The challenge will be for you to use what you discover about yourself as you work through this process to hold yourself accountable for your efforts to change.

The Challenge

Using everything that you discovered about your communication style during the self-assessment phase of challenge, initiate a conversation with your significant other in which you seek to gain a clearer understanding of their perception of your communication style.  You challenge will be to listen to your significant other’s thoughts; constructively and without interrupting.

As you listen, identify any consistencies between what you discovered about your communication style and what your significant other is telling you.  Be sure to also make note of any differences identified.  Then, allow the information that you gleaned to guide you through the process of setting appropriate goals to help you remain consistent in your efforts to honor your commitment to this process.  This consistency will go a long way to help you work through problems before they arise.

Next Steps

The Second topic will be introduced on January 2nd, so be sure to subscribe to TheWifeFiles and to follow us on all social media @TheWifeFiles so that you can follow along until the end of the challenge.  We look forward to connecting with you.

Thank you for accepting this challenge!

Photo Credit: © Creative Commons Zero (CC0)

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