No two relationships are the same, but there is one truth about people who find and fall in love with each other — no matter how much you have in common, there will still be moments of discord, and different communication styles in relationships will dictate how well you resolve your issues. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though, since the right partner will appreciate those differences and your relationship will grow stronger as you work through them.
To that end, couples can enter into a relationship and find great happiness together in spite of their unique communication styles. Simply put, your communication style in your relationship is how you express yourself through language. Not everyone can say that they’re able to communicate precisely what they mean when they speak — and this often happens when two people with different communication styles have a discussion. That’s why it’s so vital for partners to figure out how to communicate on multiple levels, including in their overall conversational style, to make their pairing even more successful.
How do you communicate? How does your partner? Read on to figure out your styles and how the two can coexist swimmingly.
1. The Amplifier vs. the Condenser
In more than half of all relationships, couples fall into this communication style. The amplifier speaks in great detail — stories unfold over multiple sentences and they include both pertinent and extraneous information to complete the tale.
As you can likely guess, the condenser’s style is much briefer. They share only what’s vital to the core of the story and they won’t stray too far from that formula.
These disparate communication styles in relationships might throw up a relationship red flag, but they shouldn’t — especially in comparison to other flaws such as jealousy. At first, an amplifier might feel a bit nervous about the fact that their partner speaks so little. They might feel isolated or left out of their significant other’s life and feelings. However, the condenser feels overwhelmed, albeit differently — they’re not used to hearing so much detail and can find a lot of it to be unnecessary.
Over time, though, amplifiers and condensers typically find common ground. Amplifiers can learn how to edit their stories. And, if not, they have another option — find a fellow amplifier and share the full-length tale with them first. Only after that will they feel okay with divulging the shortened version to their partners.
The condenser, too, can change their relationship communication style slightly to suit a more talkative partner. Infusing conversations with somewhat more detail and information should do the trick.
2. Direct vs. Indirect
Another common communication issue is the discord between a direct and an indirect style. If you’re direct, you say exactly what you mean. For example — “When the toilet paper roll is empty, please replace it with a new one.” You lay out what’s bothering you and how your partner can fix it — and this is typically good for your relationship. However, sometimes direct conversationalists are seen as insensitive or harsh, and this will be especially true if the other half of your partnership adheres to an indirect style.
Someone who speaks in an indirect style would present the toilet paper dilemma in a much less straightforward fashion. For example — “What can we do to make it easier for you to replace the roll once it’s empty?” This approach is a roundabout way of saying it’s annoying to go to the bathroom only to find a bare cardboard roll there. But sometimes a more direct person will take statements like these at face value, not realizing that there’s an underlying message.
The good news is that improved communication can overcome this and other emotional barriers. Direct communicators should be sure that their words in sensitive situations aren’t as rigid as usual, as this can cause an indirect speaker to shut down emotionally. On the other side of the coin, the vaguer speaker of the two will have to learn to be clearer. It might be awkward at first, especially for someone who’s not used to being direct, but it’s worth it for both halves of the relationship.
3. Hot vs. Cold
Being mindful of communication styles in relationships is perhaps most important for couples amid conflict. With words, they can hash out what happened, apologize and figure out a way forward. If varying communication approaches appear mid-discussion, some couples might have an issue finding that resolution.
Perhaps one person has a hot communication style in the face of discord. This means they react quickly and intensely, but also that they prefer to get it all out right away. They want to air it all out and find a resolution as soon as possible. If an immediate solution isn’t possible, they will feel anxious and stressed out by it.
But the cold communicator would instead take a breather between disagreement and discussion. They don’t do well in intense and emotionally charged conversations, so they prefer to take time to gather their thoughts before having a tough conversation. Again, this stresses out their partner if they’re a hot communicator.
The solution here is compromise and respect. The hot communicator can learn to take a step back to make their partner more comfortable. On the other hand, the cold-style speaker should try and reach a verdict as soon as they can, as making their significant other wait too long for a response can anger them.
With All Communication Styles in Relationships, Talk It Out
Ultimately, every couple will have moments of disconnect, whether conversational or otherwise. The best thing to do is talk about it, listen to your partner’s perspective and find a happy medium. Compromise will only push your relationship forward.