Do you say the things you think/feel/believe in a very direct and blunt way? Regularly? This is something I’ve had to learn in my own relationships, especially with my husband. I’ve made the mistake of thinking that by being direct and forward I’m just being honest and you are just not in way that helps.
If you ‘ve done the same thing then you’ve also made the common mistake about honesty.
You see, you have probably learned somewhere that it is “best” to “be honest” and “direct” with those you care about. And you took that to mean you need to tell them everything in the most upfront way you can. You think you are doing them a favor. But your spouse will feel like your beating them with a 2×4.
The mistake I had been making in my relationship was that I wasn’t using tact along with honesty and if you don’t use love and tact with your comments and words then your “frank” honesty will be to difficult for the other person to receive because it’s just to harsh.
We are always told that speaking up for yourself and getting yourself heard is effective communication but if you don’t communicate things with a gentle spirit then nothing you say will be received by your spouse anyway, it’s to much to bear.
If you want to be heard you have to speak up in a way that will get you heard. This means using tact.
You see tact isn’t sugar coating something or editing it until it has no meaning. Tact comes from the Latin word meaning “to touch.” What it allows you to do is truly touch the other person with your meaning. In other words, you use your skills, Gods revelation, good judgment, and perceptions to say things in such a way your partner can hear and understand you.
Sometimes this means being really straightforward but not all the time. If you use this one way to speak your truth all the time, you won’t be heard all the time.
It’s a powerful skill to develop but requires thinking on our part more than just blurting words out with out any thought behind them. Learning to be tactful will greatly attribute to the health of your relationship. It’s part of the art of communication. Think of being honest and being tactful as going hand in hand. Be open in a “skillful” way so your honesty can be heard and your talks will actually move your relationship forward instead of tearing it down. 🙂