How often have you heard words like “Communicate more” or “Communication is the key” or “Conversation can solve most problems”? Several times! Every now and then, we are being taught and advised on, how to express and communicate in a relationship? It could be our mom, grandmother, sister or even BFF.
I am sure in almost every phase of your life it is said that communication is the key to personal and career success. And it’s no different when it comes to maintaining a healthy or successful relationship. Be it a childhood friendship, family bonds or a relationship with your partner, each of these relationships in your lives are important. So you should always learn how to be better communicators, and thus not only express yourselves effectively but learn how to meet others’ needs and get your needs met as well to maintain these bonds for life. Now the question is if communication is key, where can you find this key? When dealing with partners on a daily basis or going through family rifts, sometimes it feels like you’ve lost that key. Or it’s hidden in one of those puzzled boxes which are hard to crack. But all you need is the strongest of will and our helpful tips and together you can find that key. You can unlock the door to healthy communication and witness the magic it can spread in your relationships.
Beware of the need to communicate
If trust and intimacy are the foundation upon which we build our relationships, effective communication is the glue that holds them together. Healthy, functional, effective communication is essential for any relationship to thrive. And the most important way to improve communication would be awareness. Be aware of your intended message and the message being received – Say what you mean. If you are frustrated, angry, sad, hurt, etc., honestly and thoughtfully tell your partner. If you say “don’t worry about it, nothing is wrong” as you roll your eyes or blatantly say “what’s the point, you won’t understand” and cross your arms, you are sending mixed messages and not giving the person a chance.
Don’t make any assumptions
Assuming is punishing someone without having the evidence of his crime. Yes it’s that bad. The best way you can make your partner understand things is to communicate clearly. What we mean by clear communication is not assuming that the listener knows what your words mean or what your body language conveys. For example, telling your partner that you want him to be more affectionate won’t do the trick unless your partner knows what affection means to you. When you say you want affection, what is it that you’re really asking for? Is it romantic dinners, deeper conversation or a hug at the end of the day, all of the above, or something else entirely? Whatever you want more of, whether it’s affection, support, respect, understanding, give your partner specific examples so that there is no mistaking what you have in mind.
Be an active listener
Listening to the other half in any relationship is an integral part of successful communication. And not just listening it has to be active listening. Active listening involves letting your significant other know that you’re 100% listening and hearing what they are saying. You should be all ears when they are opening their heart out or trying to communicate what they feel about certain situation. This type of listening involves eye contact, repeating back what you heard, and most importantly your attention. Sometimes when emotions run high, we stop listening and start planning what we will say as soon as our partners finish speaking. When this happens, we miss what is being said and our partners do not feel heard. So, try to hold back yourself to comment and speak only when the other person urge you to. Avoid looking at your phone or looking away or indulging yourself in other chores while the other person is talking.
Speak with the person rather at him
Anger, loudness, nagging, accusations, only lead the other person in a relationship to shut down, or dismiss you. It’s best to keep your cool. Keep in mind that your goal is to communicate effectively and that requires both the person’s side of story. Listen, clarify, and let him/her understand that you are open to his ideas and feedback. The process of “mirroring” often helps both parties stay on track in terms of understanding what the other is saying. The golden rule is to speak your true feelings and experience, as that tends to help the other party feel comfortable and open up.