My boyfriend and I always argue and he says that I don’t listen and need to learn to communicate. I hate to say it but he’s right. I blow up and get tongue tied when I’m upset. I have a hard time saying how I feel so I just curse and make a lot of noise. Can you help? How do I learn to communicate better?
Scream and Shout
Dear Scream and Shout,
I can most definitely help. I too have had trouble communicating (yes! me!) depending on said person. One of my siblings always pushes me to this point and I fly off the handle. Still, no matter who it is, we have to accept responsibility for our actions, including how we communicate under pressure.
How can you improve? When you feel yourself tensing up – heart racing and blood boiling – distract yourself. Don’t focus on these feelings. Instead, sing the alphabet in your head. Count to 10. Focus on your breathing. Just do not think about how angry you are. This will cause the explosion you are trying to avoid.
You can also walk away before you blow up. Ask your partner to give you time. Sometimes all you need is to clear your head. That’s probably why you get tongue tied. You are struggling with expressing yourself in that moment. Take a few minutes, or hours, or days to sort out your feelings and then communicate them.
If all else fails, there are other forms of communication. I don’t encourage it but you can email or text your feelings instead of speaking face to face. This can ease the pressure and your anger. Just don’t make it a habit. If you’re grown enough to be in a relationship, you should be grown enough to express your needs and feelings without technology.
So, remember: deep breaths and tune into your true feelings. Your anger probably stems from confusion. Once you are centered and tap into your heart you will learn to communicate effectively.
Love strongly and wisely,