Do you want to improve communication in your relationship? Do you want to avoid misunderstandings in your relationship? Communication does not only involve spoken or written words. It involves gestures, facial expressions, and emotions. Communication is paramount in every relationship. It helps both parties effectively make their feelings known and therefore trigger the appropriate response from their partner.
Beyond speaking, communication requires both partners to be good listeners. Listening allows you to understand the emotions and intentions behind the information. Many couples find it difficult to communicate probably because they run out of ideas or things to talk about. We have come up with these 8 steps that will help you improve communication in your relationship.
1. Listen Without Interrupting
Learn to listen to your partner speak without interrupting them. It is common for people to make inferences from what they think they know. You may also make assumptions or try to complete your partner’s sentences because you think you know what they are driving at. It is wrong. A better practice is to listen attentively. You can speak when your partner is done. Don’t try to interrupt them because you think you already know what they want to say.
Listen to their suggestions, their fears, dreams, interests, and more. Sometimes they don’t even need a solution to their problems. They just want to speak, to lift the pain in their heart by talking to someone they trust and care about. So listen and don’t interrupt them.
2. Dialogue Without Shouting
Don’t wait for a bad day, disagreement, or conflict before you talk about things. Dialogue should not come up only when things are not going well with your partner. Talk about things frequently. Learn to talk about your day, your fears, dreams, secrets, challenges, and more. You can also talk about your family and past experiences.
If there is a conflict between you both, do not shout. Although this is difficult to do, remember that nothing good can be conveyed when both parties are angry. You can’t get a positive result in such a situation. If you are very angry, leave the conversation for another time, when both of you are calm and willing to listen.
3. Ask Open-ended Questions
Asking open-ended questions is a good way to improve communication with your partner. Communication involves more than just asking about what your partner ate or their hobbies. It is more about getting to know your partner better and using it as a means to strengthen your bond.
Unlike yes or no questions, open-ended questions are helpful because they compel your partner to speak more, thus increases the duration of the conversation. Do not ask questions that only require yes or no, or one word as an answer. Ask questions that compel your partner to give a detailed reply from which you can ask more questions.
Instead of asking “I hope you had a great day?”, ask questions like “What was your day like?” “What plans do you have and how do you hope to accomplish them?” and more. They help your conversation last longer and also be more interesting.
4. Turn Off Your TV
It’s not just your TV, turn off every distracting device. Your phone, tablet, laptops, what have you. Make out a certain amount of time every day to have a great conversation with your partner. You can’t get into each other’s hearts if you barely have time to talk.
When you are together, don’t talk about work, appointments, or friends. Talk about you and your partner, make the conversation worthwhile, have fun. And when you talk, look into your partner’s eyes, hold their hands and feel their energy.
5. Pick up Nonverbal Cues
Does your partner say they are fine but look moody? Is your husband avoiding eye contact? Does your wife say she is okay but her tone sounds upset? Is your boyfriend fidgeting or nervous? Nonverbal cues involve facial expressions, gestures, and body language. They do not require speaking or writing.
You need to be able to pick up these cues from your partner. If your wife says she’s fine but do not look nor sound fine, take a step further. Do not take her words instead act and find out what exactly the problem is. You may not need to speak, a tight hug may do all the work.
6. Don’t Always Try to Be Right
Oftentimes, we see or hear people drop comments like “I know this more than you do”, “If it’s not done this way, then it can’t be done”. It is normal to believe that what you know is the best, however, a relationship requires mutual understanding from both parties.
You should be able to listen to your partner and see things from their perspective. Don’t always act closed off or claim to know it all. Listen to them, if their opinion is better, adopt if. If yours is, do the same. Be careful with your tone and don’t always try to win.
7. Don’t Try to Read Their Mind
It is common for people to make assumptions or guess what others are about to say. This may be because of the way they look or based on prior knowledge. However, in a relationship, it is best to listen and ask instead of trying to read your partner’s mind and draw conclusions.
If you don’t understand anything, feel free to ask. If you feel wronged or have something bothering you, speak to your partner. Don’t act closed off and tell them you are fine when you are not. Some people make remarks like “Aren’t you supposed to know?” Don’t expect them to read your mind and know what is wrong with you. Just like you, they are not supernatural beings.
8. Try to Understand Your Partner’s Communication Style
Each of us has a certain communication style and how we react to words and expressions. Because of this, it is important to find out the communication style of your partner. Is your partner sensitive to certain words? Is her assertive, passive or aggressive? Does he convey his thoughts in a clear non-aggressive manner? How does he react to criticism? How does he prefer to be corrected? Is it via texts or physical conversation? Find out their communication style and preferred mode of being corrected and act that way. It fosters peace and unity in your relationship.
Generally, communication requires the efforts of both parties to be effective. On your part, be honest, open-minded, and build your relationship on love and trust. With these 8 valuable tips, you will be able to take the right steps and improve communication in your relationship.