One of the most common sources of tension in relationships is miscommunication or no communication. We often do not realize how little or how poorly we communicate with our partners. We may think we have said more than we have or we may think we have stated our point more clearly. We make assumptions. How do we really know if this is the case, though?
This assumption is also known as the ‘signal amplification bias’. Most of us tend to believe that our behavior is much more expressive than it actually is, and this is true across a variety of situations. We also assume that others understand our goals and what we’re trying to accomplish, when in fact they often don’t have a clue. The reality is that most of what we say and do every day is open to multiple interpretations. This means that any of the other person’s interpretations may have slim chances of being what we actually meant to convey.
This effect is further amplified with those we are closer to: our best friends, family, and partners. We assume that these people know us best – and they might – but this does not mean they can read our thoughts and behaviours to a tee in any given situation. This assumption actually leads to greater miscommunication with our romantic partner than with a stranger on the street. We are more clear and direct with our intentions and desires with someone we don’t know as well, and we leave less up to their interpretation. When we assume that other people know what we’re thinking, and what we expect of them, we actually complicate this relationship more than it needs to be. It is unfair to assume others know what we want and when things do not go the way we want or expect. Thus, nothing is ever obvious until you actually spell it out.
The moral here is end all roads that lead to miscommunication, and to stop personally creating setbacks in relationships. Make a point of saying exactly what you mean or feel, and asking for exactly what you need. In the end, this will provide you with more success, rewards, and happiness in all interactions you come across.