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Tips For Communicating Better in Relationships
Communication is Key
I have been in a relationship for two years, my boyfriend and I have had our issues, drama and conflict. The one thing that has helped our relationship is communication.
" Communication is key." I have been told this from a very young age from just about everyone (parents, friends and more shockingly strangers). The key to any relationship is communication, where exactly do we find the key? It feels like we have lost this key or is it simply hidden.
All of us including myself have had relationships that have struggles with communication. It comes in the form of friendship, family relationships, romantic relationships, and work relationships, here are just some of the main relationships the majority of us deal with almost everyday. But with each relationship that we have decided to have in our lives all of them have taught us something and how we can learn to become better communicators, not only to express ourselves effectively but to learn how to meet each others' needs, wants and desires and in return how we can get our needs met as well.
Hopefully with these helpful tips, we can find the key and I know that I wish I could make a million copies of this key, and pray to God that I never lose it. As we are able to unlock the doors to communication we are able to see how wonderful it is to improve our quality of life and to witness the lovely effects.
1. Knowing that your partner can't read your mind
As much as I wish that my boyfriend could just read my mind, there's a good chance he can't read my mind let alone what I am thinking or feeling. I know you may think that we are being obvious about how we feel or what we are thinking, but if we aren't expressing it clearly, unfortunately our partners are just flat out clueless. We as women need to stop thinking about how upset we are and communicate it through words that are clear, precise and straight the point. This way of communication could be difficult at first but with a little practice and thinking before we speak, it will help bridge the communication gap between you and other relationships you have in your life.
2. It is important to talk it out in person
When it comes to big decisions it is always best to handle these issues in person. I know for me it is just easier to express myself through words especially in the form of text, but in the end this is the easy way out which in the end becomes and unhealthy way to communicate. If you text it out, you are building a bridge which will lead to poor communication. Unfortunately, your partner can't hear the tone of your voice or even go off your body language. You will be lost in translation. So when it comes to big decisions in your relationship, it is always important as well as effective to have these conversations face to face, no matter how uncomfortable you may feel.
3. Always speak your truth
It's not realistic to go around in your relationships walking on eggshells and not being able to express how you truly feel. As human beings we need to be open with your heart and words. Yes, it is extremely hard to hear honesty from other people, but it is a necessity for a healthy relationship. Honesty is most definitely the best policy.
4. Practice Active Listening
There is listening and there is active listening. Active listening involves letting your significant other know that you are fully committed and 100% listening as well as hearing what they are saying. This type of listening involves several things for example, eye contact, repeating back what you have heard, and giving them your full attention. So, being distracted like checking your phone while your significant other is talking to you is NOT active listening.
5. The Sandwich Method
I personally find that this method is the most constructive and in the end has become my best friend when communicating with my significant other. Basically, when you are talking to your significant other and they tell you something that is particularly difficult to hear, you simply just sandwich it between two positive statements. For example, "Listen John, I love you very much and being in this relationship makes me very happy, however I am having a hard time with you working all the time. Your work schedule is taking a toll on me and if you could please make more of an effort to spend more quality time with me, I would appreciate it. I enjoy when you and I spend time together."
This method is effective because not only do you get your point across but it doesn't come off as aggressive or offensive to your partner. They in turn will be much more receptive to what you are saying and helps open the lines of communication in your present and future conversations.
6. "I" Statements
There have been times in my relationship where my boyfriend and I have explored couples therapy. Our therapist taught us to use "I" statements. What this basically means, is that instead of attacking your partner with "you" statements aka the blame game, you take down your defenses and let your partner know how you are feeling. So, other than saying "You never help me around the house, how come I have to do everything by myself," instead you should say, "I feel upset when you don't help around the house, I would greatly appreciate some help." Not only does this come across as less accusatory but it also makes communicating with one another approachable.
7. Notice Body Language
Be aware of your body, what I mean is focus mostly on your body language. When you are communicating with your partner, you must be aware of not only what you are saying but what your body is saying. You could communicating one thing verbally but your body could be expressing something completely different, which will lead to mixed signals. Simple gestures like rolling your eyes or crossing your arms expresses a negative reaction to what the other person is trying to convey to you. Make sure your body matches with your words.
8. Communicate Through Actions
I am sure that you have heard the expression "actions speak louder than words" was created for a reason. It's extremely crucial to know that you don't just communicate through your words - you're also showing how you feel through your actions. It's great to tell your partner how much you love them but you also need to show them how much you care and love them. It doesn't have to be an over the top grand gesture it could be as simple as cooking a meal or snuggling on the couch watching a movie. Words mean absolutely nothing and are completely meaningless if there is no follow through which proves to them how much you truly love them and in the end hear what they had to say.
Proper communication with your partner is not going to happen overnight, just take baby steps don't attempt to do all these tips at once because it will just be overwhelming, but if you try just one and feel like you have mastered it than feel free to try another. Just remember communication in any relationship whether is professional or personal it is a marathon not a sprint.