Communication can improve or hinder your relationship depending on how it’s employed. Good communication gives room for transparency, honesty and better understanding in relationships. However, bad communication can cause such a rift that it would eventually be difficult to repair. Avoidable conflict, wrong assumptions, misunderstanding, resentment and repressed anger are all byproducts of poor communication in relationships.
If you’re looking to improve your communication skills with your partner, here are some tips that can help you communicate better with your significant other.
1. Don’t rely on emotions: when you feel slighted, hurt or angry, it’s easy to give in to how you’re feeling and lash out in a bid to express yourself to your partner. However, emotional responses don’t help relationships. People want to take responsibility without feeling attacked, and when you start off emotionally, you’re bound to launch an attack on your partner. Practice reining in your emotions and focusing on the facts.
2. Get to the point: when you’re discussing a matter with your partner, practice planning your talking points ahead. It may seem too rehearsed and mechanical for you, but I guarantee that knowing exactly what you want to say and how you want to say will increase your chances of expressing yourself clearly. The key is to be concise in order not to miss the point. I recommend this progression: what happened – how you feel – what you want them to do about it.
3. Take responsibility: a good communicator must be self-aware. Before trying to resolve a conflict with your partner, look inward and ask yourself if you’re part of the problem. If you believe you are, then own your wrongs. Owning up to your mistakes shows that you’re mature. It also makes it easy for your partner to talk to you when they’re upset with you. If your partner can’t count on you to take responsibility for your actions, it’s only a matter of time before they begin to resent you.
4. Find the right time: there’s time for everything. Practice choosing the right time to iron out issues with your partner. Imagine if your partner called you at work to tell you something you’d done wrong. Besides the fact that you may not be able to give them enough attention at that time, it could also be annoying to deal with that kind of stuff at work. In the same vein, you shouldn’t just spring up this kind of discussion with your partner whenever you feel like it. Try to find a mutually convenient time to resolve issues.
5. Remember your body language: we’ve talked about body language here before. It’s gonna come in handy when you need to have conversations. Active listening, giving your full attention, non-verbal cues, etc., all matter whether you’re the speaker or the listener. Practice channelling the right message with your body language to make the other person feel at ease when speaking to you or to listen to what you have to say.
Are you Struggling with communication within your relationships?
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