How to Improve Communication Skills in Relationships
The relationship between two people can be hard. Everyone is different and has different ideologies and principles, so we are bound to always disagree on things. Even when two people share the same ideologies, they have different experiences, expectations, and history. So, to be able to communicate and accept these differences and expectations requires some level of communication and understanding, which we all have or don’t have in varying degrees. This is why communication needs to be the bedrock of relationships for it to work out smoothly for both partners.
Talking or telling your partner things does not necessarily mean you are communicating. Communication is a two-way street that involves discussion, listening, and understanding. Are you just skimming the surface and avoiding the essential topics? Communication in a relationship should not always be about every day, running the home surface questions and answers; it should include deep conversations and the important life-changing stuff.
Good or lack of proper communication could either make or break a relationship. So, here are some tips you can implement to help you improve communication in your relationship;
1. Listen and Hear
Learn to listen and hear what your partner is saying. It can be quite tricky for a lot of people to listen and listen to what is being said; this is because most people are already making up a response or rebuttal in their mind while the other person is still speaking. It is a human shortcoming. When discussing with your partner, you need to put aside the points and listen to what is being said so that you can hear the message.
When you get the message, you would be able to answer in a way that would veer the discussion to the appropriate route, and your partner would hear your point as well. So, while your partner is talking, resist the urge to start forming all the responses you would make before they have concluded, instead, listen, hear and reflect on what your partner said before responding.
2. Be Open and Honest
For a lot of people, being closed off has become a way of life. While it can be a conscious decision to play it close to the heart for some, for other persons, they might not even know that they do not communicate or know how to do it either.
For some other people, they don’t know what they want in a relationship. You should sit down, think, and reflect on what it is you want in a relationship and muster the willingness to tell your partner. So realize on your own what you want and open up. Do not pretend that you are alright and getting what you want in the relationship; you would only be hurting yourself and building up resentment for your partner who has no idea. Being open involves being completely vulnerable, honest, and candid with your partner.
3. Pay Attention to Non-Verbal Signs
A lot of the time, human beings communicate with non-verbal signs and body language. These signs can be very telling of what the person is feeling or trying to convey. For example, eye contact or lack of it, tone of voice, voice inflection, folding arms, etc. Being able to read and understand these signs will help you know when your partner wants to be left alone, doesn’t want to talk, wants to talk, etc.
4. Find the Right Time and Manner
Do not go off every time, baring your mind, and struggling to be heard. It would make you look like an insufferable complainant and nag. Learn to find the right time and manner to approach your partner and discuss whatever is bothering you in a calm, clear voice that would put your point forward without aggression.
Bringing up your concerns in an unconducive time and manner could lead to distractions and defensive reception, then you won’t be heard, and your concerns won’t be properly addressed.
5. Stop, Breathe and Calm Down
Learn not to talk when you are angry, you could say something you don’t mean just to hurt your partner and then regret that you said that. When a person is feeling hurt, it is very common to want to hurt your partner with words so that they can feel how you are feeling; besides, misery they say loves company.
When you are angry, take a step back, count to ten, breathe in and out, and then tell your partner you would like to continue the discussion at a later time when emotions have subsided. Take time to calm down, recollect your thoughts, analyze the situation, and construct your thoughts more positively. It won’t be easy, but you can do it.
6. Never Assume
Assumptions and misunderstandings can cause harm to a relationship. You should learn never to assume but wait until you have asked and discussed your concerns with your partner.
Communication is not always about having deep conversations all the time; it also includes the everyday communication habits and discussions that partners have in the relationship. So, use these tips as a foundation to build a healthy communication system and relationship.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Kerrian McMahon