For example, there would be times when SCL would arrive home and I'd be back in my room. And he would not say anything to me. He'd hop on his computer or turn on the TV, but never acknowledge that I was there, too. This would really hurt my feelings. I'd start thinking, "He doesn't want to see me. He doesn't care that I'm home." And I'd begin to think that he was upset with me and then I'd maybe even get a little angry.
This is because if I, the extreme extrovert and communicative one, were to come home and say nothing to SCL it would be because I was ignoring him and trying to make a point about being angry. My only frame of understanding this silence was how I would mean it.
Bu , as it turns out, SCL was not ignoring me, nor did he not want to see me. No, he was thinking that if I was in my room, I was probably working, and for him to come in would be a disruption and would bother me. That's because for him, it would be. So, he only had his own understanding to go on.
This is why communication is so freaking important. As soon as I was able to stop being pissed off and articulate my feelings about it--and then listen to his side of things--it was cleared up. He got it, I got it, and it's made a huge difference in the way we interact. Of course he's still getting used to coming into my room to say hi, but now that he understands how much it means, he's really making the effort. Something so little can have huge implications for how we're feeling about the relationship. And it didn't take a grand gesture to do it; just a minor shift in our relating.
Now when SCL comes home, he says hi and chats for a few. Sometimes he'll come into my room while I'm working just to tell me something funny he heard on the news. And I in turn feel cared for and paid attention to, making it much easier for me to give him the space and quiet he needs to feel recharged.
Have you seen how a minor shift can affect your relationship, for the better or worse?