How can I encourage more open communication with people?
January 2, 2013 10:04 AM Subscribe
Help with encouraging communication early in a relationship?
posted by randomnity to Human Relations (6 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
As someone who is both introverted and shy, and who tends to be slow to trust people with my uncensored opinions (especially feelings), how can I counteract this tendency when dating people? Or even with new potential friends, for that matter.
I would like to get to the point where I can comfortably initiate conversations about things like sex preferences, relationship needs, things that are personally important to me, things that are bothering me, etc. I will typically answer these honestly when asked directly, but that rarely happens, and I'd like to get to the point where I can just bring up these deeper topics without that fear of being judged or causing awkwardness. I know that this improves as you get to know each other better, but I'd like to accelerate the process and make sure it doesn't stall, since it's particularly difficult for me. I'm not worried about going overboard and over-sharing, since I'm so far on the opposite side and I have the social skills to recognize which topics I should and shouldn't be discussing (I think, anyway!)...it's the actual initiating discussion part where I get stalled.
I know it's possible because I've had one relationship (now friendship) and another friendship where we have that connection, but I was never able to get there in my last (>3 year) relationship despite significant efforts on my part (none on his). A relevant difference may be that the "communicative" relationships began as close friends whereas the "non-communicative" one began as a hookup. Ignoring whether it's a good idea to start relationships as a hookup (please) do you have any tips for promoting more open communication with new people, especially when the other person is quiet as well and conversation is still a bit awkward? General mindset kinds of tips are good but concrete suggestions and examples would be even better!