Communication is a key point to the success of any relationship but is not always as easy as it should be. A relationship is between at least two people, with two points of view and two communication styles. You need to focus on how you communicate to get better at it. Here are 17 bright ideas that you can use to help improve your communication in your relationship and get things back on track:
Listen. This is a key point in any relationship. You need to listen to what your partner is saying before you can understand what the problems are. You need to be actively listening to the words spoken to you, not just hearing the words.
Be honest. Even by just admitting that something is wrong when your partner asks “Are you OK?” can make all the difference between an argument or having a great night. If you can be honest with your feelings, the other person has a much better chance of understanding how to react next.
Pay attention to body language. Crossed arms, leaning away from the other person, lack of eye contact, all the non-verbal cues are important in understanding how your partner feels. Paying more attention to what your partner is doing can help you to communicate with them more easily.
Have a sense of humour. Sometime, simply looking at the brighter side of the situation can help to relieve tension and make conversation a lot easier.
Write things down before you say them – this gives you time to think things over and not say what you don’t really mean in the heat of the moment. One communication method you can use when you are arguing about something is to both sit down and write a letter to each other then take turns to read the letters to each other without interruption.
Don’t speak over the top of each other. Take turns and allow the other person to reply.
Be prepared to say sorry. You will most likely not be right all the time so you need to be able to say sorry to your partner at some point in your relationship. Often it can be hard to admit you made a mistake, but saying sorry (and meaning it) can help to build a better relationship.
When you are having a discussion, try to stay only on that topic until it is resolved. Don’t bring up other unrelated issues and try not to bring up unrelated things from the past.
Discuss relationship boundaries. Agree upon things like: You both can have a night out with friends a month; One partner does the cooking while the other cleans up afterwards; You can spend $200 on clothes a month each; etc.
Always discuss issues within your relationship with your partner first before discussing them with friends and family. No one wants to hear news from their mother-in-law about their relationship.
Don’t keep your feelings bottled in. If you feel a certain way about a situation, discuss it with your partner as soon as possible. Not saying anything about a situation, then stewing over it, generally makes the situation worse.
Have eye contact with your partner. Looking at each other while you are discussing issues will help you to really take in what the other person is saying and help to improve your understanding of issues.
Try to sit down while discussing important issues. If you are doing other things while talking, it is much easier to get distracted. It also shows respect to your partner when you stop doing other things to take time to listen.
Take a break. When both you and your partner are very upset, it is often hard to focus on finding a solution. Make a joint decision to take a break and decide on a specific time and place to resume the discussion. Don’t just walk away or storm off from your partner.
Be prepared to compromise. Most relationships are a combination of give and take. Be willing to compromise and not always have things your way.
Have fun together. Try and find time to do something together, just you and your partner, that you both enjoy. This might help you to keep your relationship fresh, remind you why you are together and allow better communication.
Seek professional help from a counsellor or therapist before things get really bad. If you are having trouble communicating in your relationship, don’t let it get to the point of no return before you look for outside help. Sometimes, a mediator can not only help identify where the issues may be but can help give guidance to make communicatio