Open and honest communication in your relationship plays an important role. Relationships don’t just exist in the air. They exist between two emotional human beings who bring their own past experiences, history, and expectations into it. These people are different and also have different levels of skill when it comes to communication. But you can communicate better in your relationship by learning it.
Besides, most people think that, since you talk to your partner you’re automatically communicating. While talking to your partner is indeed a form of communication, if it’s primarily about everyday, “surfacey” topics such as (“How’s your sister?” “How was work?” “How’s your mother?”), you’re not really communicating about the important stuff.
To communicate better in your relationship feels like a big task. But, it needs to happen, because it makes every part of your relationship better. Communication allows us to voice our basic needs to others and also provides opportunities to approach topics such as sex and romance, stress management and conflict resolution.
Communication either makes or breaks most relationships. You can communicate better in your relationship today, right now. Just put into practice some of the tips below for improving communication in your relationship.
Ways To Communicate Better In Your Relationship
Find the Right Time
If something is bothering you and you would like to have a conversation about it, it can be helpful to find the right time to talk. This can help you communicate better. Try to find a time when both you and your partner are calm and not distracted, stressed or in a rush. You might even consider scheduling a time to talk if one or both of you is really busy!
Talk in Person
This is one important way to improve communication in your relationship. Avoid talking about serious matters or issues in writing. Text messages, letters and emails can be misinterpreted. Talk in person so there aren’t any unnecessary miscommunications. If you’re having trouble collecting your thoughts, consider writing them down ahead of time and reading them out loud to your partner. This allows you to communicate better directly.
Be Honest About Your Feelings
It is important that you communicate your feelings. An argument often develops from hidden emotions. Make sure you understand your emotions and express them in a non-judgmental way. For instance, if your partner arrives late to your date, you could say “I am feeling annoyed”, or “I am bothered by this because, it makes me wonder whether you are looking forward to spending time with me”.
Relax and Have Patience
If your partner does something that makes you angry, you need to tell them about it. But you don’t have to do so right away. Patience can help you focus and communicate your true feelings better. If you’re still hurt 48 hours later, say something. If not, consider forgetting about it. But remember your partner can’t read your mind. If you don’t speak up when you’re upset, there is no way for them to apologize or change. Once you do mention your hurt feelings and your partner sincerely apologies, let it go. Don’t bring up past issues if they’re not relevant.
When a conversation gets heated, it’s common to get so focused on making our point. This way we forget to listen to the other side. When we are trying to prove our side, it’s sometimes hard to take a step back and just listen. It is important to use phrases like, “Tell me more about …” or “Help me understand…” Asking questions to help us focus on listening and encourage them to talk more. This allow you to communicate better and will help everyone feel respected.
When we communicate, there are more than just words to consider. We should be paying attention to nonverbal communication cues as well. Better communication involves observing tone of the conversation, eye contact and the stance. Also observe how far away you are standing away from the other person. These are clues to what is being said beyond the words. It’s not just the other person’s body language that we need to be aware of either, we need to be aware of our own, too.
Do Not Attack
Even when we mean well, we can sometimes come across as harsh because of our word choice. Using “you” can sound like you’re attacking, which will make your partner defensive and less receptive to your message. Instead, try using “I” or “we.” For example, say “I feel like we haven’t been as close lately” instead of “You have been distant with me.
Learn to compromise
In any good relationship, being happy should always be more important than being right. Don’t spend all of your time trying to prove that you’re right or fighting to get your way, or your romance will fizzle. Instead, work on finding a productive solution that can make both of you reasonably happy. This is much better for your relationship long term and will help you communicate your true needs.
Forgiveness Helps To Communicate Better
Solutions are impossible if you’re unwilling or unable to forgive. We have to be willing to let go of wanting to punish the other person. Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting. It simply means that we choose to let go in order to move forward.
Let It Go
If you can’t come to an agreement, sometimes the adage, “let’s agree to disagree” may be the right course of action. It only takes one person to keep an argument going, and that happens when we don’t let things go. If it’s going nowhere, it might be time to move on.
It’s a Two-Way Street
Ask more questions, seek feedback and be receptive. It is hard to hear things that are less than flattering, but it is important to allow people to have their own, independent voice. When receiving feedback, don’t feel the need to respond immediately. In fact, it might serve us better to take the feedback and respond after taking that breather discussed earlier. Giving people a safe environment helps to communicate better.
Being respectful helps to communicate better in your relationship. It means accepting opinions that differ from our own. Even if you don’t agree with the other point of view, it is still a valid point of view and deserves attention.
By dismissing the point of view, we are dismissing the other person. Avoid the appearance of an attack by talking in a calm voice, avoiding sarcasm and gossip.