When Talking Gets Hard

I am an extrovert. I like to talk. But some people run into brick walls at the end of the day. They drag themselves home every night, and dread what’s to come: their spouse asks, “How was your day?” Their minds go blank, or they cringe at the thought of having to explain everything that happened at work.

Most couples need more than a simple reminder to talk more, they need a plan. So, here are some practical ideas that you and your partner can put into practice tonight.

Work out “neutral time” with each other. This is a period of time after you both get home where neither of you engage in deep conversation. It could be 30 minutes, an hour – whatever you both agree on. This will give you both a chance to change clothes, unwind from a busy day at work, and put you in a better frame of mind to talk.

After that neutral time, set aside at least 15-20 minutes, where both of you can talk without interruption from phones or television. Chat in your living room or take a walk around the neighborhood. But make it a point to focus on each other.

And don’t worry that structure will make your time together stiff or calculated. Good structure just gets the conversation off to a good start. After a while, you may discover that you fall into a rhythm where you don’t need any structure.

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