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TELL HER (OR HIM) ABOUT IT

We all have things we're not saying to the ones we love. But taking the plunge to disclose can be emotionally safer and more productive than you may imagine, is the gist of a feature article in this month's (October) Psychology Today.

This is not to say that every little thing needs to be discussed with your partner, and topic avoidance can be a form of compromise which features in the healthiest of relationships. Although the reason an issue is avoided may be more important than the issue itself, so what you choose to say and not to say reveals a lot about you and your significant other. Elements of the so-called power chat include clarifying internally why you're disclosing something before opening your mouth. Speaking for the good of the relationship can be preferable to just venting for yourself. And be aware that you always have the right to speak up. If you don't, you may not be as close as you think. And approaching topics with mild humor can bring a sense of balance and perspective to a situation and allow for easier venting of emotions, so always see the bright side. Conversations are a tangled knot of messages, spoken and unspoken, but disclosing and avoiding need not be all or nothing. If you come from love, and from the security that you are deeply deeply loved, it gives you the freedom to speak your mind and treating your lover as you'd like to be treated ensures you'll both get what you came for, which is a chance to play the game of love together.

Remember, always be explicit and say exactly what you mean. I've heard it said that you should speak to your loved ones as though they were 6-year-old children and you needed to explain everything clearly, in no uncertain terms. I think it's better to speak as though you were a 6-year-old. Listen to a child communicate and you will notice that she says exactly what is on her mind, without irony, hyperbole, or prevarication. It is wise to do the same. Children are adults in little bodies, and many grown-ups are emotional infants. Of course kids can be cruel in their honesty, so a little finessing the situation, or polishing your remarks can be useful when addressing a friend who is particularly sensitive, though you both will get more from speaking the clear and true. Don't assume that your special someone always knows how you feel. Like the song says, "Tell her (or him) about it!"

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