Communication is key. You hear it all the time, and you will continue to hear it because it is true. A relationship without good communication is one that will struggle, and not reach its full potential. Overlooking the need for it will create a huge disconnect that will only cause two people to drift further apart. So with it playing such an important role in a relationship, why do so many people struggle with creating better communication with their partner?
Well a lot of people lack quality communication skills. They were never taught, or a great example was never set for them. Those that have learned and embrace the need for better communication get to experience the benefits of it. I want everyone to be able to experience better with their partner. So here are seven keys to improving communication in your relationship.
1. Listen To Understand, Not To Form A Rebuttal
Nothing is more aggravating than someone who is only interested in making excuses, trying to turn the tables, and simply defend their themselves throughout the entire conversation. If you don’t show a willingness to listen and to try to understand the person talking to you, you will simply cause them to not want to talk to you anymore. So don’t get defensive, and focus more on making progress with whatever is being discussed. This will help your partner feel that you are truly listening and valuing there feelings. You will have taken a huge step towards experiencing better communication with them.
2. Be Open & Honest
You can’t expect someone to be open and honest with you if you’re not willing to do the same. When you are willing to take the lead in that regard, you make your partner feel more comfortable with following your example. It may be harder for them, and there are other factors listed in this article that will impact their willingness to do it. However if you focus on consistently setting that standard, you will increase your chances of it becoming a mutual practice.
3. You Can Disagree, But Don’t Dismiss
There will always be moments where you and that person won’t agree on what is being discussed. This is ok if you simply understand how to respectfully handle your disagreements. Do not make the mistake of being dismissive or judgmental. That will only lead to negativity and the other person feeling the need to retaliate. You basically set up a battle where you both will end up losing. Not to mention you now make it harder for them to feel comfortable expressing themselves to you. So for better communication you should acknowledge how they feel, and their position on things. Be respectful, and you can always choose to agree to disagree.
4. Don’t Make It All About You
Have you ever started talking to someone and felt like venting, only to have them somehow make the conversation about them? Annoying right? Well you definitely want to make sure you’re not being that person if you want better communication in your relationship. When a person feels that this is a constant pattern, they simply won’t bother starting a conversation. So let them express themselves and get it all out. Hopefully they won’t make the mistake of also making it all about them and consider hearing what you have to say. It’s all about providing balance and allowing each other to be heard.
5. Be Willing To Compromise
If your attitude is always “my way or the highway” then don’t expect anyone to want to drive down your street. Displaying a willingness to be fair and compromise can go a long way towards helping your partner express themselves to you more often. It lets them know that they won’t simply be shut down, and some sort of resolution can be reached. So try to always find a middle ground if possible that leaves both individuals satisfied with the results.
6. Pay Attention To Their Words & Their Body
You can gain a better understanding of how your partner feels when you learn how to interpret their body language. It definitely has a role in improving communication in your relationship. Sometimes your partner may not be as verbally expressive, but their body can tell you plenty about how they may be feeling. Use it as a guide to help pinpoint what is going on. Tell them what their body is saying to you, and they can then clarify verbally so that you two can get on the same page.
7. Take A Positive & Loving Approach
Yelling and being disrespectful to your partner isn’t effective communication. If you have not expressed yourself in a calm and loving manner, then you can’t expect any good out of that conversation. Nobody likes to feel attacked and blamed for everything. You automatically make them defensive even when they may know they are wrong, and your point is valid. To avoid making them less receptive to what you’re saying you have to focus on taking a positive approach. It doesn’t mean you have to change your underlying message, just simply how you deliver it. I’m sure you have heard it plenty of times, “it’s not what you say, but how you say it”. You have to embrace that if you truly want better communication.
If you feel like you are prepared to do all of this, but fear your partner won’t, well you won’t know until you try. You can only control what you do, so make sure you are implementing all of these seven keys so that you have a greater chance of achieving the improved communication that you desire. Take some time to also ask them what they feel could use some adjusting to help you two achieve better communication. You have to work together as a team, and talking to each other is the only way to see the results you need for a happy and successful relationship.