In this ultra-social era, we are constantly talking about others and ourselves without thinking twice about its consequences. This oversharing of information and preoccupation with others leads to conflicts, bitterness and often a disintegration of relationships. Amidst a huge amount of facts and details on relationships, there is a surprising problem in relationships and astonishingly no one actually talks about it.
So today we are going to explore a surprising problem in relationships, i.e. how talking ‘about others’ and talking ‘about us’ can lead to problems in a relationship.
“I think for any relationship to be successful, there needs to be loving communication, appreciation, and understanding.” -Miranda Kerr
Talking about others
The surface of most relationships starts cracking when the talk between the two partners starts to centre on ‘others’, rather than themselves.
We’re social beings, living in an ultra-social era as stated before. Hence it is very natural that, while conversing, two people would brush upon the lives of other people. That other person might be/ might not be in good books of the couple. Perhaps, he/she might be in good books of one partner, and not so liked by the other partner. Eventually, yet unintentionally the couple ends up making the ‘other’ person the sole topic of their conversation for a long time. Their often contrasting views on her/him then become the cause of discord and disagreements between them.
Try to think of the recent conversation you had with your loved one, and think about how much time you let slip by, talking about another person.
As talks between the two partners shift from being focused on them to ‘others’ who are often insignificant in their lives, their bonds start to wear off. Worse, the slight disagreements on the ‘other’ people lead to heated arguments. Thus, begins the process of disintegration of a healthy relationship.
Talking about each other
A successful relationship is not the one where there are zero fights or 100 agreements. It is the one wherein there are fights, disagreements, arguments, and every single thing that may seem like a head-long war to the inexperienced eye. But here lies the catch, these frequent (or not so frequent) banters occur NOT with the motive to put one’s partner down, or to prove him/her wrong. They occur so as to reach a healthy conclusion. As said earlier, it isn’t a pre-requisite that two partners in love need to have everything in common, even the disagreements and differences of opinions are a sign of love!
Such arguments should not provoke you to go outside and chat with your colleagues/friends about bickering with your spouse/partner. AVOID GOSSIPING about your partner. It is a very common habit to discuss our relationships with our friends or whosoever we hold close to our hearts. Seldom have we realized these seemingly trivial chats with our mates, is another way where cracks start developing in a smooth-going relationship.
It is high time that we stop talking about our respective partners in a negative manner. You can talk about your partner or discuss your relationship, but it should be done in a manner that is respectful to your partner and your relationship.
Here comes the redeeming ray of hope: WHAT TO DO?
As for the first issue, the solution is just a simple technique.
Stop talking about others and start talking about yourselves (In your relationship)
Be it a marital relationship or any other kind of relationship, it is immensely crucial that the two people find time to actually talk to one another about themselves. Regardless of how long two people have been together, they could never say that they fully know each other. Knowing a person takes a lifetime, and at times even that may not suffice.
“Real magic in relationships means an absence of judgment of others.” -Wayne Dyer
These are some simple things you can start doing:
- Start talking about each other- your dreams, thoughts and so on.
- Take a decision to be completely honest and open with each other
- Discover newer likes and dislikes of your partner’s as well as your own
- Find parallels between their aspirations and your priorities
- Dig out each other’s deepest fears, insecurities, and secrets
- Seek apologies for your shortcomings and forgiving them for theirs
- Most importantly, look into their eyes and drown for some time in the depths of love they bear for you (Enjoy the silence).
As for the second one, the strategy is again a simple one, but tough to adhere to.
Stop talking about each other and start talking to each other
Yes, it sounds pretty similar to the one mentioned above, and in many ways it really is, yet it is much more complex to apply. Talking about your respective partner to an outsider won’t help you or your existing relationship. It might provide you with temporary respite, but the real problem would still exist. Moreover, the third person would be able to view the situation just from your perspective and thus may provide you with a biased opinion. Applying that incomplete and often inappropriate formula to your relationship would only enhance the damage.
“People must be taken as they are, and we should never try making them or ourselves better by quarrelling with them.” – Edmund Burke
Some simple things you can start doing:
- Do not taunt your partner in a demeaning manner, about their ways, habits, views etc.
- Try to understand and accept their ways and habits. If you start looking at them in a critical manner, you would find hundreds of things that you can change about them, so change your perspective.
- Spend time with each other. If there are things you really want to be changed, it can be done with mutual discussions.
- Instead of talking to the outside world about your relationship problems, try talking to your partner itself. Talking with them would definitely sort most (if not all) matters.
- Try to reflect on what you feel and think about your partner, if you feel deep down that you can work out your problems, despite your differences, then try to do that.
- Most importantly, assess your views on them. It is very much possible that you may hold some untrue notions or ideas about your partner, which can easily be rectified upon being checked.
So, try to use these techniques in your own relationship to ensure that it doesn’t get rattled by such issues.