The Key to Better Communication - Lakeile Lopez

Have you ever wondered why you click with some people almost instantly, while, with others, every conversation feels like a struggle? The answer often lies in our personalities. Personality encompasses the unique blend of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that make us, us. It is a collection of characteristics and behaviors that make each person and their response to the world around them unique. Our personality also shapes how we communicate and relate to others.Effective communication can be challenging when two uniquely different personalities are joined together. A married couple may sometimes feel they need a translator to help decipher what their mate is trying to communicate. According to an article published in The Journal of Divorce and Remarriage in 2012, 53 percent of couples cite not being able to communicate effectively as a reason for divorce.Understanding our personality improves communication and enhances our marriage and other relationships. As the saying goes, “Knowledge is power.” Peter Scazzero, author of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, states, “The vast majority of us go to our graves without knowing who we are. We unconsciously live someone else’s life, or at least someone else’s expectations for us.” Recognizing our unique traits and emotions can empower us, placing us firmly in control of our interactions.Being tuned in to who we are is key to effective communication within marriage, enabling us to become the whole person God created us to be. Consider what energizes you, brings you joy, or drains you. How do you best learn and receive criticism or praise? Are you in control of your emotions, or are they controlling you? The more we understand why we are the way we are, the more we can adapt, adjust, and improve—putting us in the driver’s seat of our emotional and mental health. The following are practical steps to self-discovery.Take a Personality Assessment: Taking a personality test with your spouse can be enlightening. Remember, the goal is not to find excuses for our behavior or to label each other, but to uncover opportunities for personal growth and deeper connection.Develop Emotional Intelligence: This involves improving skills in five key areas.

  • Self-Awareness: Understand your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Self-Regulation: Monitor your thoughts and emotions and accept responsibility for your actions.
  • Motivation: Aim for realistic goals and embrace change.
  • Social Skills: Be adaptable and ready to compromise.
  • Empathy: Enhance your listening skills and strive to understand others' perspectives.

Understanding ourselves better and taking the time to understand our spouse more fully can open the door to better communication and a fuller realization of our potential. With better self-understanding and emotional intelligence, enhancing communication isn't just a goal—it’s a journey. What steps will you take today to start this journey with your spouse? Lakelie Lopez is a credentialed UPCI minister who holds a master’s degree in human services/life coaching. Lakelie works with Covenant Behavioral Health as a life coach, helping people reach their full potential. She and her husband, John Lopez, provide workshops and retreats on a range of topics related to personal development, marriage, and family. The Lopezes live in San Diego, California, where they serve in ministry.