How to Fix the Sounds of Silence
December 4, 2019
Psychology Today – Have you and your partner discovered that you two have nothing to talk about? A new study on romantic couples by BGU psychology Ph.D. student Bat-Hen Shahar and Prof. Guy Roth of the Department of Education demonstrates how to get the conversation flowing again.
Even the closest romantic partners can occasionally run out things to talk about with each other. Although you might think this means that your relationship has run its course, it’s natural to feel a little stuck in the chatting department from time to time.
The theory underlying the study, known as integration of emotion regulation (IER), is that recognizing your emotions and then anchoring them within your sense of self can improve your ability to “cope adaptively with a wide range of environmental contingencies.”
In other words, if you’re in touch with your emotions, and feel that you can control them, you’ll have better, closer relationships as well. It would make sense, from an IER perspective, that you would also be better able to relate to your intimate partner if you can access your own internal state.
To the question of what to do the next time you’re unable to keep the conversation going with your partner, Shahar and colleagues suggest that you try listening to your own emotional reactions first.
Ask yourself what’s really going on inside of you. What are your goals and wishes for the conversation? Articulating these can help you open up new areas of discussion or, perhaps, revisit old ones from a new perspective.