We can’t say it enough: a healthy communication is the essence of a successful relationship. The idea isn’t to just share our desires, joys and sorrows but to know how to listen and settle our differences. Here are ideas to improve communication with our loved one.
Be quick to praise
Love feeds on compliments and kindness; frequent gratitude can help ease your concerns during a disagreement and may be received better when you’re not only criticizing.
Listening before talking
Listening is essential when communicating. Truly listen when your partner speaks, which means stop thinking about how to answer while they’re talking. Also, avoid interrupting your partner and let them go through with what they’re saying. Then take a breath and formulate your answer carefully.
In an argument, try not to be on the defensive side, but rather be open to the perception of the other. This doesn’t mean that you have to take all the blame. Rather, it’s about finding a solution to the situation in order to move forward together.
Own up to your mistakes
If you were wrong, be humble and honest enough to recognize it. No one is perfect, so it’s important to shoulder your actions to preserve the respect and trust of your partner.
Solve one issue at a time
Do you need to express your annoyance or discomfort? If so, do it. But, don’t use it as an opportunity to list the issues of the last 18 months. A discussion should focus on one topic at a time. Also, don’t rehash past arguments; you won’t be making any progress. You must learn to forgive. Instead, stay in the present and name what you’re concerned about in that moment.
Wait for the right time
Need to get something off your chest? Choose a time that promotes listening and respect. If your in-laws are soon to arrive, your partner has just lost their job or is preparing for an important meeting, it is best to keep your feelings and opinions to yourself. Decide on another moment to express them. Waiting may be frustrating, but the idea is to exercise being a rational and reasonable person.
Speak in the first person
Talking in the first person is essential when expressing your emotions and needs. Using accusations to get your point across will make your partner wary instead of attentive. In fact, using the pronoun “you” will put your loved one on the defensive. Also, know that blame would be extremely damaging to a relationship, because criticism crumples an ego, hurts self-esteem and belittles the other.
Avoid closed questions
Using a closed question—like answering in monosyllables like “yes,” “no” or “Saturday”—it doesn't allow for the other to elaborate. It’s therefore better to opt for an open question to engage in dialogue. Not to mention that communicating through open-ended questions demonstrates an interest in the other.
And for our last tips… Take the time to talk. Do not use fatigue or stress to cut short to a conversation. Allow for a healthy communication to solidify your relationship daily.