Communication is tough. No matter who you're talking to or what context it's in, there's always the potential for crossed wires, misunderstandings, or just saying the wrong thing. Some of the most difficult communication to puzzle out is that between you and your romantic partner. Communicating as a couple can be so hard, especially if you both have different styles of communication. Poor communication can ruin a relationship if you're not careful, but you don't have to let it get that far. If you need to improve the communication in your relationship, take a look at the following ways to do it.
Make Time to Communicate
When you have a busy life, it's often easy to forget to find time to communicate. You try to talk to each other in between work and other commitments, but it seems like you're just snatching little moments here and there whenever you can. If you can't remember the last time you had a proper conversation, or there are some big subjects you've been meaning to talk about for ages, you need to make time to communicate. It's a good idea to have one day or even just a few hours a week that you set aside to talk about the things that matter. If you've been putting off those big conversations, schedule them to make sure they happen.
Create a System for Discussions and Arguments
How do you resolve arguments or just come to a decision when you're having a discussion? If you feel like nothing ever gets resolved or one of you always "wins," perhaps it's time to do things differently. Consider having a system or steps to follow that help you to resolve arguments or make big decisions - or even small ones. It could be anything from deciding what to do at random to taking it in turns to get your own way. Some couples decide that they each have more or less equal say in a discussion, but one person gets the final decision. This could be a different person for different matters; one of you might be more sensible about money, while the other gets the final say on family matters.
Understand Different Communication Styles
It's important to recognize that communication isn't just about talking. There are lots of ways that we communicate using body language and other nonverbal methods. It's important to pay attention to things like the signs he loves you without saying it and realize that people communicate differently. However, both of you should make an effort to recognize your different ways of communicating and try to meet each other halfway. You can both try to recognize how the other communicates and also use each other's style of communicating too.
Choose the Right Time and Place for Communication
Have you ever watched a couple have an argument in public? It can be cringe-worthy, to say the least. It can feel like you're witness to something that should be private. While sometimes you might get caught up in the heat of the moment when you're having a disagreement, it's a good idea to make sure you choose the right time and place for serious communication. For one thing, it can be humiliating to get into an argument in public, and you never know when a discussion could turn into an argument.
Be Good at Both Listening and Talking
Communication requires not just the ability to get your point across but also to be willing to listen. Listening well means not just paying attention, but actively trying to understand what the other person is saying. Even couples who know each other well can misinterpret what they say to each other if they're not listening properly. You need to listen so that you understand both their words and the intent behind them. Give your partner the time they need to say what they need to say and expand on what they're saying when they need to.
Change the Way You Think
Sometimes your communication can go badly because you're in the wrong mindset. If it feels like your partner can never say the right thing, it might be because you're expecting too much of them or continually misinterpreting what they're trying to say. Sometimes, you have to change that you think. Maybe you can't help thinking negatively and considering the worst case scenario all the time. Or perhaps you struggle with black and white thinking. It might be time for a shift in the way you approach your communication.
Consider Communicating Less
There can be such a thing as too much communication. In the modern age, when we're all attached to our phones, you can constantly contact your partner. While some people enjoy this, it can be too much for others. Sometimes it's worth considering pulling back and limiting how much you text or tag each other on social media. When you do communicate, you'll appreciate it more.
Combine Small Talk and Serious Talk
Big conversations are necessary for a couple to communicate effectively. But not everything needs to be a serious subject. Balancing out your serious conversations with small talk and fun discussions is important too. You might be able to hash out a financial issue or talk politics, but what's the point if you're not also sitting comfortably after a long day or spending the day laughing together?
Make Communication More Balanced
If you want to communicate well as a couple, you need to make sure that your communication is balanced. If one of you is always talking or always seems to get their own way, you might need to do something about it. It's important to make sure that you're both able to get your point across when you're talking and that each of you is willing to listen to the other. It might even help to make your discussions structured, so you each get the time to say what you want.
Good communication is the cornerstone of any relationship. Make sure you're communicating well for a healthy relationship.
Additional resources and further reading:
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