Improving communication in relationships can look like taking on several responsibilities, including:
Being curious and asking questions: There will never be opportunity to expand your conversations and understanding of others’ experiences if you aren’t open to learning more about their life and asking questions to be more involved
Listening instead of assuming: When people explain all sorts of things to us, from past stories to current problems, we have a tendency to assume that we know the outcome of the situation or how the person may behave based on how we personally know them.
Accepting differences: You and your partner aren’t always going to see eye to eye, and that’s okay: what matters is that you both make an effort to see where the other is coming from, and communicate that although you may have different opinions on certain subjects, you both will continue to respect one another’s feelings about it
Validating your partner’s feelings: While communicating, validating someone’s words and feelings can be anything positive from maintaining direct eye contact and asking questions to reflect your interests to verbally telling them that they are valid in how they feel and what they are saying to you
Identify underlying issues: Communication can sometimes go from something as simple as having a disagreement about doing something to deep rooted issues and insecurities within the relationship. Consider identifying and working together to analyze why these issues exist with your partner in order to feel less startled and unprepared if they come up
Questions to ask yourself about communicating with care in your relationship:
Does how I communicate with my partner show that I value them and our relationship?
When I communicate with my partner, do I say what must be said without using it as a weapon?
How do I make communication challenging? Are there any ways I can show up differently that would allow our hard conversations to have more traction?
Does my partner feel safe with me during hard conversations? If not, what would make them feel safe?
Have I told my partner (during a calm moment so they can actually hear it) what makes me feel safe or unsafe during hard conversations?
During hard conversations, how much am I listening to try to understand my partner? Am I able to validate their feelings even though I may not agree with them?
Communication tips that will change your relationship:
Avoid criticism, judgment and defensiveness, trying to show your partner the bright side, taking the other person’s side in a story, and having a “superior” viewpoint
Your aim is to understand: ask open-ended questions – questions with the answer not being yes or no, ask for more information – be curious about what they are saying
Outcomes of not committing to healthy communication:
Infidelity: One or both partners will seek emotional or physical connection outside of the relationship
Disconnection: Emotional detachment occurs when we fail to respectfully express our needs and feelings
Resentment: Unhealthy conflict without ground rules will only lead to bitterness and resentment
Questions raised regarding changes in our communication and personality styles, including considering the long-term effects of internal and external factors that have taken place; one of the most interesting factors of these being the Covid-19 pandemic
Phone: (321) 758-5161