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Relationship dynamics shift

Relationship dynamics shift

By Sarah Horne, Anchor Me Postpartum 

Understandably naive, many couples decide to start their family with rose-tinted glasses on. And yes! Creating new life is freaking magic but it’s also incredibly challenging and there is no blessed manual to guide you through this season. 

Babies also don’t have or use apps so don’t rely on these! 

Before you even consider getting ‘jiggly wit it’, before there’s a baby growing in your puku and definitely before your pepi is earthside, a few important conversations need to be had to keep your primary relationship intact. 

Imma list these below but hone in on one in particular. 

  • Division of Responsibility
  • Boundaries with visitors 
  • Finances

Communication styles: 

It’s time to be all reflective and consider how you each communicate within your partnership and other significant relationships. 

There are fun quizzes you can do online but I’ve cut between the noise and given you and outline of the main types of communication styles and given you a 101 on how to best communicate with your partner and village members. 

Below is a basic summary of the 7 main communication styles. You might already be noting how you communicate and how you see others’ communicate. 

Park that for a sec, we shall circle back! 

  • Assertive
  • Aggressive 
  • Passive aggressive 
  • Submissive 
  • Manipulative 
  • Direct 
  • Indirect 

Assertive: This is clear and promotes the self esteem of all parties 
Aggressive: You aim to ‘win’ and are not always considerate about others feelings 
Passive aggressive: Won’t say what they mean and can attempt to manipulate situation or sway others
Submissive: Won’t back themselves. Other peoples’ opinions matter more than their own. 
Manipulative: Calculating an outcome without hearing the others’ POV or considering impacts on all parties concerned 
Direct: Doesn’t mince words and can be an effective communicator but others may get hurt in the process 
Indirect: Won’t state the actual issue, skirts around it trying to not hurt the other person but this gives mixed messages

There are many different communication styles out there, and it is important to know them for you to identify your own. 

There are some styles that will make it easier to communicate with other people without disrespecting them, which promotes effective communication, reduces conflict and promotes healthy relationships.

Knowing the different styles will help you develop effective and assertive communication skills. You will know the right place and situation to use an effective style. 

Being assertive means you respect yourself and other people you’re in discussion with. 

It is the ability to communicate your thoughts and feelings using open, specific and honest communication.

Being more assertive doesn’t mean you will always have it your way, but it is very constructive in helping you achieve a compromise. Even if the outcome is not what you expected, you will be satisfied because you handled it well, and it reduces the chance there are hard feelings between you and the other person involved. Assertive communication isn’t a skill reserved for a few, anybody can do it, but it will need some time and practice before you master it.

The good thing is that you can easily practice and master it from the comfort of your own home. You can practice it on your own or get a friend you trust to give you honest feedback. You also need to think about the person you are talking to, how best to start your communication and the best way you can cope with the interaction.

You will first need to identify your usual communication style before you can start to practice communicating assertively.

Tip for those playing at home: Assertive Comms should be your go-to. 

Assertive Comms - This is one of the most recommended communication styles and reflects and promotes high self-esteem. 

We must always keep front of mind; no matter how great your relationship is, no one is a mind reader. 

Being assertive is a healthy style of communication and allows you to more likely achieve what you are looking to achieve. With assertiveness, you have the confidence of communicating without having to employ manipulation or games. 

No one likes to feel manipulated. That breaks down trust. 

An assertive communicator also knows your limits and you don’t allow yourself to be pushed beyond them just because the other person wants or needs something from you. Surprisingly, this is the least used style but the very one we should be aiming for. 

A person employing this style will be able to achieve their goals without having to hurt others. They protect their own rights while being respectful of other people’s rights and they know how to express themselves socially and emotionally. Assertive communication means making choices and taking responsibility for them, asking directly what needs to be met, expressing feelings with ‘I’ statements and accepting that there is a possibility of disagreement.

It also involves good eye contact, use of even, rounded, and expansive gestures, and medium pitch, speed, and volume. 

(Aka: stay chill)

People on the receiving end are able to be clear about what is expected or felt because they know where they stand. This will mean more respect and makes it much easier to communicate. With assertive communications style, you feel good about yourself, and leave the other person feeling respected and heard.

Now, I’m not saying this will be easy and attainable all the time. We are sleep-deprived humans who are very fresh to the parenting game BUT having the intention and aim of being an assertive communicator can minimise the chance of hurt, resentment, bitterness and inequality to marinate into ugly outbursts. 

Always try your best, forgive easily and restart the clock when you need to. 

Love Sarah x 



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