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FunTimes Magazine

Openly Communicate in Relationships: No One Can Read Your Mind

Oct 10, 2023 10:00AM ● By Okechukwu Nzeribe

Photo by Ralph Rabago

Stop any veteran on the streets who has been in a long-lasting relationship and ask what are the necessities for a fruitful relationship and you can be sure one of the listed requirements would be communication. It is a general global acceptance all over the world that communication is key to relationships, yet several of the brewing storms that make landfall on relationships leading to one form of crisis can be traced back to a lack or inability to articulately communicate one’s needs.

Human beings were designed to voice out our innermost thoughts, needs, concerns, and opinions on practically everything and anything that is of interest to us. It Is the way we convey our desires and expectations. In every sphere of life, whether it be at work, or play, during a business deal, or expressing pain during a hospital appointment, we are wired to talk.

Surprisingly, the one place that matters where it is expected that we should be more expressive of our expectations, quite a number of people struggle due to the fear of being rejected or misunderstood, amongst several other varying reasons.

For some, the reasons might border on the unrealistic anticipation placed on others to easily understand their wants, needs, and emotions without plainly expressing them. However, this faulty belief can lead to confusion, and frustration, thereby exacting needless strain on relationships.

To begin with, it's important to understand that men and women are wired differently and have different communication styles. By nature, women are more expressive, communicate through verbal cues, and rarely are more direct and straightforward. In conversations, women tend to bring several unrelated experiences to a problem in order to share that moment with the special person(s) whom she is with. 

Photo by Andres Ayrton from Pexels

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Men on the other hand find such an inability to be direct and straightforward exasperating. For men, who are by nature problem fixers, have very short attention spans for long, winding communication, and whose conversation style is more direct and straight to the point, the continued skirting around issues is a time waster for men. In a man’s mind, communication is viewed more in the form of Problem – Ideas – Solutions.

That then becomes the problem. Women accuse men of not listening, while the men grunt grudgingly that women talk too much without hitting the point.

When we expect something or share experiences based on how we feel, it is important not just to vocalize it, but to pause a bit and reflect on what we intend to convey, our feelings about the issue and expectations from expressing these thoughts.

For example, if your spouse’s favorite football team is an ongoing match, it is counterproductive to hold a discussion with them except it involves a life and death situation. Let them know you have something important to share and would appreciate their full attention after the match or any other convenient hour you agree upon.

If you feel your spouse is not giving you enough quality time, rather than pouting and giving snarky responses hoping for them to read your mind, calmly express your feelings without any bitter undertone while suggesting ways and experiences that you desire you both share with each other to meet your needs.

The same principle applies to sexual relations with your spouse. Express how you want to be touched and loved, what works for you and what doesn’t.

 Assume nothing, make clear everything. 

These conversations, though uncomfortable, are essential for growth, understanding and openness which strengthens relationships. No individual in this world can fulfil anyone’s needs, especially in a relationship if they do not know what they are.

No one is a mind reader. 

Effective communications begin when we are able to clearly define our needs through introspection, and convey that need to our significant other in words they are able to grasp.

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 Okechukwu Nzeribe works with the Onitsha Chamber of Commerce, in Anambra State, Nigeria, and loves unveiling the richness of African cultures. [email protected]

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