We’ve all heard that communication is the key to a healthy relationship, but we may not know how to go about it. Maybe we think it’s just about saying what you mean, or maybe we think our partner should be able to read our minds. Either way, communication is so much more than that! In this post, we’ll go over some skills and practices for communicating with your partner in a way that will make your relationship stronger.
Check your body language.
The first step is to be aware of your body language. What does it communicate? Are you sending signals that get in the way of a good conversation?
If there’s any chance that your partner might be reading this article, too, consider these tips:
- Show interest in what they’re saying by leaning in and making eye contact.
- Be attentive by staying quiet when they’re talking and not interrupting them until they’re finished with what they have to say (unless it’s an emergency). It shows respect for their thoughts, feelings and opinions.
Say what you mean and mean what you say.
This is one of the most important things to remember in any relationship. Remember that your partner is always listening, even if they look like they’re not paying attention to you. There’s a reason why some people say that “the eyes are the window to the soul.” I’d also like to state that it’s okay for you to put yourself out there and be vulnerable with your partner–it will strengthen your bond and give them confidence in knowing what you need from them!
And finally, don’t forget about asking for what you want! Don’t be afraid of rejection: ask away! Asking doesn’t mean forcing someone into something; rather, it means verbally expressing how badly (or not) something makes you feel so that your partner knows exactly what types of behavior make up the kind of relationship dynamic that would work best for both parties involved (which may or may not include sex). It should go without saying but try not being afraid when talking about sex either; after all, it’s natural part about being human beings living together under one roof sharing our lives with each other every day until death do us part–so why shy away from such an important topic just because we’re afraid someone might find out?
Be an active listener.
A great way to be more open and understanding is to be an active listener. When you are listening, do not just wait for your turn to talk again. Instead of thinking about what you will say next, focus on what your partner is saying. If she has stopped talking for a moment, ask her questions like “What was your favorite part?” or “How do things look now?” These questions show that you are focused on her story and not distracted by anything else.
If he’s upset or angry with someone else, don’t judge him or criticize his behavior; just listen! Don’t interrupt him when he talks about something that concerns him—let him finish before asking any questions so he knows that he can trust in the fact that whatever happens between the two of you won’t leave this room. If a friend comes over while they’re both there (which may happen often), talk later instead of trying to compete for attention right then and there–it’ll make everything much easier if everyone gets along well enough 🙂
Be assertive. This is a good place to start because it’s the middle ground between being too aggressive and being too passive. If you’re too aggressive, your partner might get defensive. If you’re too passive, they may not know what you want or need from them. Being assertive means making direct requests for what you need or want rather than leaving people guessing about your intentions. For example:
If I’m in an argument with my partner and am upset with them (and probably also mad at myself), I will often tell them how right they are when they say that something’s my fault…even though it isn’t! This is called “passive-aggressive” behavior because I’m indirectly expressing my anger while blaming myself instead of confronting the issue head on by saying “You were right.” Passive aggression can come across as bitchy and make communication awkward.
Never assume and never mind read.
The next time you’re about to jump to a conclusion about your partner, ask yourself:
- Is there any evidence for what I assumed?
- Can I see this from another perspective and how might it look different if I did?
When your mind is filled with assumptions, it can be hard to find the right words to communicate effectively. One way to combat this is by asking questions instead of making statements that may sound accusatory or critical.
Communication is about expressing yourself in a healthy way.
Communication is about expressing yourself in a healthy way, listening to your partner when they are doing the same, and really hearing and absorbing what the other person has to say.
When it comes to communicating with your partner, you want to be sure that you’re not just focusing on what you expect out of the conversation or trying to prove points; instead, focus on listening and understanding where they are coming from because this will help you have better conversations as well as understand each other better.
If you’re consistent and open about your feelings, your communication will improve. It’s going to take time, practice and patience with yourself and your partner, but it’s so worth the effort.