There’s an old phrase that couples use when something one partner says starts an argument — “it’s not what you said, it’s how you said it.” Sounds familiar? I bet it does.
What you say is important but how (and probably, when) you say it is much more important. Recent studies have shown that communication is 7% verbal and 93% non-verbal (out of which about 38% is tone of voice).
Here are a couple ways to help you communicate in a more positive tone to your spouse:
Lower Your Voice
Try to reduce the register of your normal speaking voice. Seriously. Talk in a deeper voice. This will prevent your spouse from being on the edge.
Relax. Yes, Relax!
When you get upset or are under stress, your body tenses up. This can lead to your voice sounding agitated or strained. Relax.
Slow it Down
Try slowing down when talking. This will give the listener time to understand what you’re trying to tell them. Another risk of speaking too quickly is that you aren’t giving yourself enough time to think about what you sound like while you’re talking. Speaking slowly gives you time to choose your words, as well as remember the other keys to speaking with a positive tone of voice.
Ask for feedback
It is often good practice to ask your spouse about your tone – and if they’d like you to adjust anything. While we are not suggesting you change who you are, it helps to do what makes your spouse more comfortable when it comes to communication.
Please send your questions and thoughts to us. We’d be happy to engage