Relationships take work; sometimes, they can take a toll on you if you are not careful. More often than not, it is typically out of our control how some of our relationships pan out, but it is refreshing to know that you can do something to have long-lasting relationships. You may have the best partner in the world but lose them in a blink just because you haven’t mastered the art of healthy communication.
It is much easier to sabotage a great relationship just because you don’t know your way around the power of effective communication in a relationship. Maybe you are struggling to become a great communicator in your romantic relationship or friendships. Perhaps you want to learn the art of healthy communication to have better relationships, or maybe you want to improve your communication skills. If that’s the case, then you are in the right place. Today, I will share excellent tips to communicate better in a relationship. Keep scrolling to learn these tips.
1. Learn The Art of Right Timing
The saying that there’s time for everything applies perfectly in this case. Whenever we have something bugging us or want to communicate our needs and wants, we primarily don’t consider the timing. It is human nature to want to be heard after something goes south or when our needs are unmet. However, as much as it’s essential to let your partner know what’s bothering you, it is just as important to do so when it is right. I am not saying you keep the issues to yourself until hell breaks loose, but instead, set aside time to communicate.
For example, if your partner just came off from work tired and stressed, do you think it would be wise to start telling them how they have not been giving you attention or how they no longer take you out on dates? I bet your answer is No. The best thing you can do is give your partner some time off to cool down and unwind, then talk about your unmet needs.
Similarly, you may want to look for moments when you two are having a happy day or spending quality time together to talk to them about your problems or even share any critical information. Right timing plays a significant role in communicating better in a relationship. So take note of that and see how good things will become in the long run.
2. Listen More Than You Speak
Active listening can help you solve so many issues in a relationship. It can help you and your partner build a solid, healthy relationship. You may think that communication is about conveying a message or your feelings to your partner, but also about learning to listen actively. When you become an active listener, you get in tune with what your partner is feeling and what they are trying to pass across. You hear every part of their message, not just on the surface level; you get a deeper understanding of what they wanted to tell you.
In active listening, you learn about your partner and become aware of whether your partner needs a solution or wants a listening ear. This is because sometimes your partner may not be looking for solutions whenever they share their issues with you but rather someone to listen to them. Correspondingly, give your partner time to speak because they also have something to say.
Don’t rush to cut them short while they speak, or stay fixated on the notion that because you initiated the conversation, your partner has no right to speak but only to listen to you. No, that is not fair or even right. Communicating better calls for talking things through and listening actively without interrupting the other person. You will be shocked at how quickly and healthy you handle conflicts in your relationships or solve problems by becoming an active listener.
3. Focus More On Asking Open Ended Questions
There’s beauty in asking open-ended questions, especially in relationships or when trying to get to know someone. I understand that some people don’t like sharing their feelings or thoughts, so they appreciate small talk and closed-ended questions, which is still okay. But, while that is normal and okay, it is vital to understand the magic open-ended questions do in relationships.
Let’s say you want to know how your partner has been throughout the day; we can call it you trying to check in on your partner. In this case, always try to avoid asking yes or no questions like, “was your day okay” which is a no/yes question, and start asking, “how has your day been?” which is a more open-ended question. The latter will give you more information than the former question. Although your partner may answer that their day has been/ not been okay in the second question, at least you will have created a room where they can talk in detail about their day.
Additionally, when it comes to asking open-ended questions in a relationship, getting to know your partner on a deeper level becomes more like a cakewalk. You also garner so much information from your significant other with open-ended questions. If anything, you two bond over deep conversations other than the regular small talk.
4. Take Time To Calm yourself Before Saying a Word
Processing your feelings before talking does your relationship so much justice than you may imagine. Assume you got into a fight with your partner, and now you feel like cursing them, saying hurtful words, or throwing away the whole relationship outside the window. Do you know that just taking a few minutes to process your feelings, whether anger, disappointment, or sadness, can change the results of your conflict? This is because whenever you take time to calm yourself or process your feelings before acting or saying anything, it helps you analyze the issue and understand how to resolve the problem. It also helps bring you back to your usual self.
It would be best to learn how to process your feelings to communicate better in a relationship. Sometimes the problem is not as big a deal as you make it; other times, you naturally magnify the issue at hand, making it hard to solve, which you can control and efficiently deal with if you take some time off to calm yourself. It is more like “think before you speak.”
Don’t just act or say things out of anger and sadness and then later call it communication. Instead, take time to cool down and understand the problem and how you can solve it. Then, once you have done that, talk with your partner and explain how you feel about the whole issue or how they made you feel in a specific situation. By doing so, you’ll find that your relationship is growing in the right direction regarding matters concerning communication.
5. Avoid Labeling Your Partner
It is one thing to point out what your significant other is doing wrong, but it’s different when you label your partner based on what they do wrong. For example, let’s say your partner has not been creating time, as usual, to take you out on either lunch or dinner dates due to their busy work schedule. You shouldn’t start calling them unromantic or telling them, “nowadays, you are so unromantic.”
You have already placed a label on them, which, if anything, may make them feel unappreciated or attacked. Instead, how about you say, “Hey, I understand how demanding your job is, hence why you have been so busy. However, I have noticed that we don’t go out on dates as usual lately. I enjoy it when we spend time together. So, I would appreciate it if you at least create some time for us to go on a date. I will be open to helping you come up with a way of doing so so that there’s a balance in both areas. This is because as much as I want us to spend time together, I don’t want that to jeopardize your work. I know together we can do this”.
You see, in this statement, you are clearly expressing your understanding of his demanding job and busy schedule, but also your need of wanting to be taken out on a date, and also you are letting him know that you have his best interest at heart by offering to help him out balance his work and the relationship. That is what healthy communication looks like. So, always try to avoid labeling your partner because it is not the right thing to do if you want to have a healthy relationship.
6. Learn To Acknowledge and Validate Your Partners Feelings
In relationships, we may not always see eye to eye. Sometimes we tend to agree to disagree, and that is normal. Like any other couple, you may find that there are days when you and your partner have a say about a particular situation or conflict. During such moments, it is good to voice your feelings and concerns, but it is also important to hear out your partner.
With hearing them out, you first have to acknowledge their feelings and then validate whatever they feel. Maybe they don’t feel like you are giving them the right amount of attention they deserve. Instead of dismissing them outright, or brushing off what they have to say, take time to understand why they feel so. Acknowledge the root of their feelings and let them know it is okay to feel that way.
When you start acknowledging and validating your partner’s feelings, you’ll realize that communication is not as complex as people tend to make it seem. At least it makes you understand better how to solve your partner’s problem or what you need to do to improve things in the relationship. In this case, you must be ready to let go of your ego and be willing to hear your partner out. It is never easy, especially when having a conflict, but it is the best thing to do.
7. Avoid Becoming a Mind Reader
You have to come to terms with the fact that while you may know your partner like the palm of your hand, it is nearly impossible to tell everything that’s going on in their mind. So why not ask? Why try to read their minds and conclude things when you can ask them what’s wrong? You may think you know your partner so well, can tell when they are okay and when not, when they need something, and when they are just fine, but you’ll be shocked by how that’s not entirely true.
Even though you think you know the ins and outs of your significant other, there are some things about them that you get wrong. It doesn’t matter if you have dated your person for five years or have been married for ten years; the point is, you shouldn’t try reading their minds. When you start reading your partner’s mind, you miss out on essential things and maybe assume everything is okay when that is not true.
If you notice your partner is acting unusual, ask what’s wrong. If you want to know how they feel about certain things or want to get their perspective on something, go ahead and ask them. This is because mind reading is not part and parcel of healthy communication in a relationship; instead, it is one factor that will lead your relationship down the heel.
8. Understand The Power Of Comprehension
One thing that people don’t talk about is the difference between communication and comprehension. To communicate better in a relationship, you need the skills to comprehend. I read a book that said that most relationships don’t die because of unhealthy communication but rather a lack of comprehension from both parties.
You and your partner may communicate effectively, but if you don’t comprehend what you communicate, that is like running a fool’s errand. Comprehension means clearly understanding the message or information being conveyed and interpreting the information in the best way possible. For example, if your partner tells you something, before responding, first take time to analyze the information, interpret it and understand better what it is they are trying to put across.
Once you have done so, you can proceed to respond. Even when having deep conversations with your partner, don’t just go with the flow; take time to comprehend whatever you are discussing. This helps sharpen your communication skills, making you a better communicator in your relationship.
Effective communication is essential for the thriving of any relationship. If there is no healthy communication, it is hard to sustain your relationship. Therefore, you must put in the work and implement these tips to have a better relationship with your significant other. Remember, it is not just communicating but how you go about it entirely.