Five Tips to Improve Communication in a Relationship
Communicating with others is essential to be able to solve conflicts or make our opinions known. However, as many of us know, the truth is that we don’t always do it effectively. Communication is very important in relationships. In this article, we share some strategies that may help eradicate some harmful behaviors and improve communication in a relationship.
Your relationship may suffer if you don’t have good communication. For example, all the mistrust, lies, and unresolved anger may lead to bigger issues. Leaving the solution of these problems in the hands of time will only lead to remorse and unhealed wounds.
1. “Let’s talk about it later”
You should avoid talking or discussing something when your emotions are running very high. When you’re angry or feel irritated, what you say may hurt the person you love the most.
A practical exercise is to take a notebook or journal and write down whatever we’re feeling. This will help us put what we’re feeling into perspective. Thus, we’ll be able to manage our emotions better and know what we want to convey when we finally talk to our partner.
However, you must respect the ‘later’ in “Let’s talk about it later”. It’s not worth taking this advice as an excuse to never tell your partner what you’re feeling.
2. The past isn’t a weapon
Using certain past situations against our partner is always tempting. However, we should never do this. Instead of turning the past into a weapon, make sure to talk about any past situation that has hurt you with your partner so you can have some closure.
In order to improve communication in a relationship, you can do the following exercise to realize how you talk to your partner. After an argument, write down everything you’ve said to the other person. For example, “You’re so selfish”, “You did this to me in the past”, or “Do you remember when…?” This way, you‘ll detect all those past situations you weaponize unconsciously.
3. Listen to understand
Another simple way to improve communication in a relationship is by opening our ears. How many times have we witnessed an argument in which two people talk at once without listening to what the other is saying?
If we don’t listen to the other person, we won’t be able to understand their point of view. This doesn’t mean that we’re going to take their side. However, only by listening will we be able to negotiate and reach an agreement. Otherwise, there’ll be no understanding and the problem will only get worse.
4. “I don’t beat around the bush”
We should write this phrase down somewhere to keep it in mind and not forget what it means. Many times, we don’t explain ourselves clearly when we speak. We may use irony or sarcasm or scold our partner by saying things like “You should already know what’s wrong with me”. However, we have to remember that our partner can’t read our mind.
Being direct with your partner will help you avoid and resolve conflicts. If you don’t like something, look for the best way to express it.
Try to analyze what you feel when you’re silent or not direct with your partner. Maybe you feel ashamed. Or perhaps you believe that your partner should know how you feel. By analyzing your behavior and emotions, you’ll be able to improve communication in your relationship.
5. We’re a team
The last tip we propose is to think like a team. When there are conflicts, sometimes we tend to blame the other person. However, we should avoid doing this so we can stop seeing our partner as a rival and instead as a teammate. This way, we’ll be able to face problems in a much healthier way.
How do you communicate with your partner? Do you tend to expect them to know how you feel or do you express yourself directly? We tend to make a lot of communication mistakes with our partner, mainly due to ignorance or because we’re just copying what our parents did. Nonetheless, these tips may help us improve communication in our relationship.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”