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Last Updated on January 22, 2019
If you look at nice and successful relationships around you you’ll find there is one thing in common in almost all of them. And that thing is good communications between partners. Good and healthy communication in relationships is the key to the relationship’s survival, positive change and productive feedback. Good communication skills are also necessary if you would search for a potential partner both offline and online.
To understand how to communicate better with your partner we need to understand what healthy communication is first. Basically, it boils down to several key points. Stop talking about your partner and talk about yourself. Drop the “you” and talk about “I”. This makes the communications less critiquing and more insightful. It also helps to understand your partner better because instead of “you think” you’ll have to use “I want to know what you think about”. Another thing is starting to actually listen to your partner. Let’s talk in more detail on how to improve communication in a relationship and make it more healthy.
If you feel that there is a lack of relationship communication in your case try to start with your listening skills. A lot of people are thinking that the mere fact they have ears makes them good listeners. The main thing is keeping your mouth shut and that’s it, right? Well, not exactly. Good listening means you are actively engaging in the act of listening and not just registering some background noise your partner is making. Here are some steps you might take to learn to listen to your partner better and improve the communication in a relationship.
Focus on what you are hearing. Do not assume that the topic is trivial enough for you to think about something else in the process. Your partner can notice you are somewhere else and you can miss some important verbal and non-verbal cues. Try to simply listen, understand and remember things you hear and stay focused on the conversation.
It also means you need to drop the common habit of thinking about what to say next. You won’t notice how you’ll stop listening and focus on a particular thing you’ve heard and how to use it to win the argument. That is another thing to get rid of. Your goal is improving communication in relationships not win a debate, right?
To keep focused and keep the conversation constructive, try not to judge what your partner is saying. Try to put yourself in your partner’s shoes and understand where he or she is coming from without judgment. Again, that’s not a debate you need to win. Correctly understanding your partner’s point of view without judgment is a key to a constructive dialog.
If you want to know how to communicate better in a relationship you’ll also need to learn how to talk to your partner. Start with small talk. You might think that the thing that would improve your relationships are deep and serious talks about your feelings, but psychologists actually found that it’s those mundane, everyday conversations that have a greater effect on the health of a relationship. Discussing a TV show your partner watched yesterday or something you’ve heard on the news will help you bond. Asking about some details will show your partner that you are interested in his life and that you care even if it is some trivial part of that life.
It would be even greater if you can discuss some great experience you’ve had together as a couple. Some funny incident during a walk, watching a movie together, having a pleasant dinner together are all great things to help you build a stronger bond with your partner. The more warm and interesting moments you both can recall about your relationship the better.
When talking to our partners we, sometimes unconsciously, assume that we know what our partner thinks and feel. It is not a surprise if you think about it. But that’s another bad habit you should try to get rid of. If you want to avoid misunderstandings between your partner and yourself, ask what your partner thinks about something before assuming the answer.
And the last advice is keeping a nice balance between speaking and listening. Do you remember that thing about talking about how you feel and what you think instead of talking about your partner? Well, that doesn’t mean you should talk about yourself all the time. And listening carefully to your partner doesn’t mean you need to be silent all of the time. Balancing talking and listening is essential to communication and relationships. It will give you both a chance to communicate your thoughts and feelings to each other.
If you want to improve communication in a relationship just follow two simple rules. Improve your listening skills and learn to discuss things in a more productive way. With a bit of focus and training, you will begin to see how your communication process becomes more calm and fruitful. You’ll start to understand your partner better and your partner would better understand your thoughts and feelings as well. And that is a key to a better relationship.