1. Eliminate the Guesswork
Slide 1 of 4
Women are great at hinting, beating around the bush, or saying something “in so many words.” But to men, that is often akin to playing a game. Men want it straight.
Yet, shooting straight can come out wrong sometimes, so you need to not only be direct, you must do it with tact. You can do that when you learn to reframe your words so they are affirmative rather than accusatory.
Instead of saying “Are you going to wear that tonight?” try “I would love it if you wore that new blue shirt. It looks great on you.”
Instead of asking “Do you even want to be around me anymore?” try “I would love to see us spend quality time together so we can reignite the passion.” Half the time you may think you are being direct when you are still being a mystery.
If you get that “deer in the headlights” look from your spouse, it’s very possible they have no idea how to respond because they have no idea what you are trying to say. Make it easy for them by saying it as simple as possible and leaving the guesswork and creative interpretation out of it.
To say something simply and take out the guesswork, practice saying it to yourself. If you can’t understand it yourself, or it takes you too long to say it, it’s not direct.
2. Be Kind and Encouraging
Being direct in your communication doesn’t have to mean being blunt. In fact, when you are encouraging with your words, what you say will go a lot further.
Start by encouraging someone with what they’re doing right and you may find they are “all ears” for what may be coming next. To the contrary, if you start out with a complaint or accusation, they may become defensive, launch a counteroffensive, or close off toward you altogether.
Ephesians 4:29 provides wise counsel when it comes to direct communication: "Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them” (NLT). Think in terms of "I'm only going to say it if I can say it in a way that builds this person up.”
If you take this encouraging approach, you may notice how your relationship improves, and also how your spouse may appear to be listening more to you and even anticipating what comes out of your mouth next.
Photo Credit: ©Thinkstock