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4 Times When Keeping Your Mouth Shut Will Save You A Lot

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You may live your life reacting to situations as they arrive. If you feel angry, you yell, and if you’re hurt, you may inflict the silent treatment or even try to direct that hurt toward those you’re closest to (namely, your partner). As you can imagine, your reactions to certain situations and events can make or break your relationship. Relationships are all about communication, and while most people think that means more talking, there are times in a relationship when keeping your mouth shut pays off.

Still confused? The fine line of when to speak your mind and when to stay silent can be a hard one to define, but this handy Cheat Sheet guide provides you with common times when holding back that jumble of words inside you will make your relationship healthier and happier.

1. When your partner is talking

Your parents may have taught you it’s impolite to interrupt someone when they’re speaking, but as adults (who think they always know best) those rules often go out the window, particularly when it involves your partner. Whether done in public or in the privacy of your home, interrupting says one thing: You don’t care about what your partner saying. This means that when your partner is telling your friends about work drama and you interject your opinion, you are showing your partner (and your friends) that your opinion is more important than what your partner was saying.

This nasty habit can get even worse behind closed doors. How often has your partner been expressing their feelings to you and you berate them by constantly interrupting with contradictions and corrections to what they’re saying? Regardless of the specific situation, remembering your manners and waiting your turn will show your partner that you respect them and will provide you with well-earned floor time later on.

2. After an apology

If you’re the sort of guy who always likes to be right, you may find saying a sincere apology practically impossible. This is not a time to keep your mouth shut. Apologies can restore hurt feelings and repair a damaged relationship. But even if you’re able to squeak out those two, hard-to-say words, you may immediately find yourself backpedaling with an explanation as to why you did what you did. While explaining the situation may be helpful, using this time to defend yourself or your reasons for performing the wrong will only devalue your apology. A simple apology should be just that: simple. When you blurt out an “I’m sorry” and then follow it with reasons validating your action, you may as well have skipped the apology all together.

3. When you want to criticize

When you’re hurt, angry, or jealous, you may want to lash out and hurt your partner emotionally. This can be done passive aggressively by making your partner feel stupid, ugly, or insignificant in public or even in private. Criticizing can also happen in the midst of your most heated arguments when statements like “You’re selfish” and “I hate you” slip out of your mouth. These proclamations may not reflect your true feelings, but will inflict lasting pain on your partner well after the fight has ended. Rid your relationship of this emotional abuse by avoiding hurtful “you” statements that point out your partner’s trouble areas and you’ll have a much happier partner and a healthier relationship.

4. When your partner is vulnerable

There are moments in every relationship when the walls are broken down and you see your partner’s most basic insecurities and fears. When your partner trusts you enough to show you their deepest hurts or troubles, it is time to listen and respond in a careful manner. You’re blabbering mouth may try to get you into trouble here, but this intimate moment is a chance for you to listen wholeheartedly and make an attempt to understand your partner on a deeper level. By hearing them first and responding in a manner that allows them to feel heard and validated, you are fostering trust and intimacy in your relationship.

Source: Cheatsheet.com

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