With your little one on the way, the nerves may start to build up for you and your partner. One little disagreement can become a huge fight in the blink of an eye when using the wrong communication skills. There are simple things you can do as a couple to fortify your relationship and equip you with tools and resources that can help you deal with any disagreements you may have, not just now, but also after your baby finally arrives.

There are common “listening blocks” we sometimes use during an argument or a conversation. These listening blocks ultimately hinder our ability to fully listen and comprehend what the other person is saying and feeling. Try and reflect if you use any of the following and exactly how often:
1. Mind-reading. You already “know” what the other person is thinking and referring to before he or she can even finish a sentence.
2. Daydreaming. Your mind tends to wander to other tasks while the other person is talking to you.
3. Rehearsing. In your mind, you’re already thinking about the response to what the other person is saying without letting him or her finish.
4. Filtering. Selective listening, you only hear what you want to hear, blocking the things that make you uncomfortable or that you just don’t want to listen to.
5. Advising. You don’t let the other person finish expressing his or her point of view, you interrupt with recommendations or possible solutions. However good hearted it is, you should let him or her finish what he or she wants to communicate first.
6. Judging. Analyzing, criticizing and challenging the other’s point of view (remember body language counts as well!)
7. Being condescending. Making the other’s point of view seem less important, valuable or true than yours.

It’s common to get distracted during a conversation or to feel like you have to get your point of view through when talking to your partner. The important thing is that, slowly but surely, you become aware of your own communication skills and traps. An easy thing such as letting the other person finish his or her train of thought can have a huge effect on the way you deal with the daily struggles of being pregnant and dealing with your newborn baby.

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