Every couple has its fair share of arguments, fights, and tense moments. However, as the relationship grows older, many people find communicating without fighting an impossible task. But not everyone may find it difficult to communicate. Some people can easily and respectfully communicate with their partners. Of course, in most cases, such people have positive role models to look up to.
However, even if you did not have the privilege of growing up with role models whom you can look up to for inspiration, you can learn and implement better communication skills. Keep reading to discover some effective tips about how to communicate with your partner better.
The Need For Communicating With Your Partner Effectively
As the saying goes. “Communication is key.” Communication is important in every relationship, but when it comes to communication with your partner, it becomes even more vital.
Every relationship has its ups and downs, but proper communication helps avoid conflict and strengthens the bond.
Here are some other benefits of better communication:
1. Strengthens Respect
Effective communication helps strengthen respect for each other. It also allows one to get their partner’s insight about the crisis. Also, discussing your problem with your partner means you value their opinion and are mindful that it may affect them too.
2. No More Guessing
Openly discussing things means you do not have to worry about your partner “finding out”. It saves you from telling lies and worrying about it, making you more stressed. It makes a relationship more relaxed and ultimately happy.
3. Avoid Misunderstanding
We are only human, and everyone makes mistakes. However, when you communicate better with your partner, it is easier for them to understand that things were not “purposefully hidden” or misinterpreted.
Also, when you regularly communicate with your partner, explaining even the most complex situations to them can become easy.
4. Increased Trust
Trust is the most important factor in any relationship, and while it takes a lot of time to build trust, it is broken very easily. Without trust, a relationship stands on very weak pillars that the lightest of breezes can blow away.
When both partners communicate honestly, it leads to increased trust and confidence in each other. It makes them confident they can be vulnerable with their partner and share their innermost feelings.
5. Increased Support
When you have better communication, it is easy to have empathy for your partner and understand what they are going through. It means you have their support through whatever personal challenges you are facing. And at times, just knowing that your partner understands you can go a long way.
6. Increased Love
Love is something that you need to nourish. When you communicate with your partner, telling them about the good and the bad helps form a bond. This bond acts as nourishment, keeping your love alive. Also, people with better communication skills can more openly express their feelings and make their partners feel cherished.
7. Puts You In A Good Mood
When you communicate well with your partner, you are more relaxed and less worried about upsetting your partner. This stress-free state provides genuine happiness and keeps you in a good mood.
Problems That Arise With The Lack Of Communication
Lack of communication can sneakily ruin a relationship. When couples do not have healthy communication, they cannot understand their partner’s feelings, what they are going through, and what they need.
Some common problems that arise due to lack of communication are:
• Unnecessary conflict
• Resentment toward one another
• Fear of the future
• Lack of safety and security
• Lack of intimacy
• Turning away from each other’s attempts to connect
• Focusing on the negative aspects of the relationship
• Feeling hopeless about the relationship
• Developing a toxic relationship
• Lack of relational growth
It can also affect a person individually, leading to:
• Low self-esteem
Married couples may experience greater stress as the possibility of divorce hangs over their head. Also, when children are involved, couples are worried that their problems may affect their children, leading to more stress and anxiety.
How To Communicate With Your Partner Better: 20 Ways
Regardless of the stage of the relationship, couples can do many things to mend their relationship and improve communication. However, it is important to realize that both parties must commit to working on their relationship and empathize with their partner.
1. Use “I” Statements
Instead of saying, “You did this” or “You did that,” you could say “I feel overwhelmed when this happens,” or “I am hurt.”
It helps you put your feelings in words without attacking or blaming your partner. This also helps prevent a defensive argument.
2. Ask Open-Ended Questions
Communication is about making your partner comfortable discussing their life, problems, happiness, and more. Your partner will start conversing with you when you ask open-ended questions, and they will eventually open up to you.
3. Stay Focussed
When communicating about a particular topic, stay focused and stick to it. Do not bring other issues or past conflicts into the conversation.
4. Break Down Communication Barriers
Having an open conversation becomes impossible if your communication involves defensiveness, blame, and criticism. Try to remove these barriers and be open in your communication, making your partner feel safe and comfortable.
5. Increase Your Awareness
Couples often do not realize that they have communication issues in the first place. Analyze your arguments and determine whether you are able to communicate your point to your partner.
6. Process Your Feeling First
Before discussing something with your partner, make sure you have a calm and understanding take on the topic. Process your feelings, listen to music, and take a walk to be more in control of your emotions.
7. Pick Up On Non-Verbal Cues
At times, non-verbal communication becomes more important than verbal communication. Work on understanding your partner’s body language, hands, facial expression, and tone of voice.
8. Listen Carefully
Focus on what your partner is saying and not on what you will say in response. Try to focus on understanding their perspective when they are talking to you.
Oftentimes, people do not listen to understand, they listen to answer, and when this gets into a relationship, conversations become meaningless.
9. Make A Commitment To Change
If you realize that you are not able to have an open conversation or are misinterpreting your partner, you must be ready to break old patterns and create new ones to promote a healthy conversation.
10. Think About Timing
If you want to discuss something, give your partner a heads-up. This way, your partner will not feel ambushed and have a clear mind during the conversation. Also, be mindful of your partner’s timing. If they are facing a business crisis or some other problem, reschedule your talk to when your partner is emotionally available.
11. Take A Timeout If Necessary
If the conversation gets too heated, take a break, collect your thoughts, calm yourself, and have a clear mind. However, do not avoid the issue, but make sure that you both are in a calm state where you can understand each other’s feelings.
12. Don’t Try To Read Their Mind
It is one thing to understand a person’s body language and a completely different thing to read their mind. Neither can you read your partner’s mind, nor can you expect your partner to instinctively understand the turmoil you are going through. Take your partner’s words as they are and honestly express your feelings.
13. Try To See Their Point Of View
When there is conflict, both parties want to present their point of view and only want to be understood without understanding. When the focus is only on what one has to say, one cannot understand their partner’s point of view, the conflict remains unresolved, and nobody gains from such conversations.
14. Always Talk Face To Face
Never discuss important topics on calls, e-mails, or texts. There is a high chance of misunderstanding, especially with texts and emails.
15. Be Proactive About Your Communication
Communication issues are only addressed during conflict and arguments. Once the issue at hand has been resolved, both partners forget about the bigger problem. Actively participate in bridging the communication gap for a healthy relationship.
16. Make Compromising And Resolution The Goal
Always remember that a better relationship is the ultimate goal. It may take some compromises and sacrifices on your part; however, make sure that any conversation on a conflict ends with a resolution. It will help you forgive, move forward, and strengthen your relationship.
17. Respond To Criticism With Empathy
When your partner criticizes you, it is easy to get defensive. It will neither help you understand your partner’s feelings nor determine whether his or her feelings have been exaggerated. Look for how much truth is there in what they are saying and understand their mental makeup. Also, try to understand their point of view and empathize with them.
18. Don’t Be Sarcastic
Taking a situation lightly and joking about it can worsen the situation further. When communicating, try to understand your partner’s feelings and avoid being sarcastic, as it may hurt their feelings.
19. Respond Rather Than React
Responding means considering your partner’s viewpoint, analyzing it, and forming a non-judgmental opinion. Reacting, on the other hand, is often a defensive technique where you are stuck on your point of view and hardly understand your partner’s viewpoint.
20. Positive Expressions
Encourage your partner to keep talking, nod to make them keep going, and smile when necessary. As they realize you are actively listening, they will feel more comfortable expressing themselves freely.