Relationship Scotland Fife: communication matters

From chatting someone up to having a proper heart-to- heart, communication is at the core of every relationship – but it doesn’t always come easily.

Sometimes it’s the small gestures of love, not the words, that make a difference.

And Fife’s experts in couple counselling, Relationship Scotland – Couple Counselling Fife – say that learning the art of good communication in a relationship builds trust, helps resolve conflict and deepens connects.

In fact, one of the main reasons that couples got to Relationship Scotland Fife for counselling is to get help with communication.

What is communication?

It can be broken down into four parts: passive, aggressive, passive aggressive and assertive.

Mieke van der Zijpp from Relationships Scotland - Couple Counselling Fife said: “Passive communicators can have trouble talking about their emotions or even identifying them and find it hard to say no.

“Aggressive communicators can be loud and quick to anger but often find it hard to make deep connections.

“Passive aggressive communicators use sarcasm to deflect their true emotions and to avoid conflict.”

But there is one type of communication that is best of all, says Mieke: “Assertive communication is the healthiest form, and this type of communicator can express their own needs whilst also understanding the needs of others.”

Is there help if it isn’t working?

When communication styles clash our relationships can suffer. Arguments, bickering or not talking at all can cause insecurities and resentment. Couples can feel ‘stuck’, where their communication stays the same shape and they cannot move beyond the pattern they are in, and a conversation they repeat but don’t learn from.

Couple counselling can help to dig deeper and look at what is going on underneath the disagreements, and help couples to both talk, and listen.

Mieke added: “Your counsellor will slow things down and help you express your feelings but also start to listen to each other. Feeling heard is crucial to making someone feel safe to talk about how they truly feel.

“Counselling can help break this pattern. For some people this is quite an eye opener. Taking an active role in listening to your partner, asking open questions and showing real interest and concern can improve a relationship beyond measure. All too often people will find that even though they are living with their partner, there is so little meaningful contact.

“Counselling can help creating space for real communication. A real, heartfelt compliment to your partner will go a long way. Equally, it s the small gestures which people communicate that can make a huge difference, it really is the thought that counts.”

From making a cuppa to fixing a squeaky door, offering a hug or smiling unexpectedly at one another’s conversation, the little gestures of love go a long way, and each are a method of communication that can be meaningful and appreciated.

Mieke said: “A couple doesn't need to be in crisis to benefit from counselling.”

You can access help via their website, or call in confidence on 01592 597 444.