There's a lot more to effective communication in a relationship than just talking about the weather. Real communication involves honesty, having fun, learning to avoid arguments and not putting each other down. Doing so will help create a more intimate and productive relationship.
In this article, we've assembled some tips that will help you enhance the communication between you and your partner so you can start having a better relationship.
1. Listen Carefully Before Responding
Sometimes in the heat of an argument, we will react to something said before we really understand what's being said. Take the time to really listen to what your partner is saying instead of responding automatically.
2. Keep It Cool When Disagreeing
When a discussion starts turning into an argument, it can veer off into ugly directions. Avoid this by sticking to the point and not bringing up old arguments and grievances.
Sometimes the best thing to do is take a break and cool off so that you can resume the conversation later with clearer heads and a fresh perspective.
3. Don't Be Too Proud To Give In
Our natural instinct in an argument is to try to "win" by proving we are "right". It becomes a competition instead of a healthy airing of grievances. This is not the kind of communication that contributes to a long term, happy relationship.
Instead, try putting your pride aside occasionally and be willing to compromise. At least be willing to apologize for arguing, even if you don't feel you've done anything wrong - you may find it leads to more acquiescence from your partner, too.
4. Share Your Feelings Openly
It can be difficult if you weren't raised in a family that did much communicating, but there are things you can do to help yourself be more open and honest with your partner.
It's important to start sentences with "I feel" instead of "You make me feel" - take responsibility for your own emotions and don't put them on someone else!
There's no denying that this can be a tough first step, especially if the relationship has already fallen into less supportive communication habits. But if you don't fix it now, it will only get worse. It takes a real effort on both parties to build trust that allows you to be vulnerable, but it can help save a relationship.
Speaking in a manner that takes responsibility instead of placing blame not only helps heal the rifts, it allows you to be more honest about your feelings.
5. Learn To Have Fun Together
Couples who make time to play and have fun together tend to have the healthiest relationships. Even if your hobbies and interests don't coincide, spending time together doing fun activities helps you connect and increase intimacy. And that connection and intimacy is what will lead to improved communication and so to a vastly improved relationship.
Learning to apply these five tips to your relationship will surely help you see improvement in your style and level of communication. You'll find that better communication will bring you and your partner closer not only as lovers, but also as friends, creating strong bonds of intimacy and trust.