If you didn’t grow up watching adults speak to each other openly, honestly and with respect, you may not know precisely how to do that, as well as when you should speak up vs. when you should not.
It is even worse if you are fighting a lot or harboring negative feelings; you may want to consider brushing up on your relational skills. You may resort to shouting matches and silent treatments instead of going through a healthy route.
Communicating what you are feeling to the person you are in a relationship with in an effective way is important in any relationship. It doesn’t make sense to be in a relationship and not know how best to communicate with your partner.
Good communication is the key to peaceful and fulfilling relationships when it comes to positive social interaction. But what does a healthy conversation look like? And how can you improve communication in a romantic relationship?
It is never too late to improve how you talk with your partner. Below are practical ways to open the lines of communication with the one you love and strengthen your relationship in the process.
If you are having an issue, be conscious not to point blame at your partner by phrasing sentences that start with words such as “You make me…’ or “You didn’t…” Instead, begin by saying, “I feel hurt when…” or “I’m upset when…” Your partner will be less likely to be defensive if you don’t sound as though you are in attack mode.
Once you voice what is bothering you, be sure to hear how your partner responds. Give him or her a chance to speak and listen to what he or she says. It may be that you are misinterpreting the behavior, he or she wasn’t conscious of how you feel, or you are doing or saying something to influence them. Whatever the case may be, unless you hear your partner out, you will never know.
Healthy communication happens during the smallest of moments. Speak nicely to your partner and try your best not to let stress or other distractions get the best of you. A devoted partner will want to support you when you need it most, but not if you take your anxiety out on them or take his or her love for granted.
Touch your partner often
Communication is not only verbal. Touch your partner often and not only in a sexual way. Hold hands. Kiss him or her hello and goodbye. Let your partner know without words, which people can sometimes misconstrue, just how much he or she means to you. Touching coupled with the right language can add depth to your relationship that words cannot.
Ask the right questions
Not everyone is forthcoming with information, especially if something is bothering them. Make it a habit of asking your partner how he or she is doing and how his or her day was, even if they are not always interested in speaking with you at length at that exact moment. Expressing that you are interested about their well being will go a long way toward keeping the lines free when your partner finally wants to talk.
Although it is sometimes more comfortable to stay silent or put off a conversation until later, it is important to resist that temptation. Problems tend to build as opposed to disappearing when we keep issues that are bothering us bottled up inside. If you are having a problem, raise it with your partner, bearing the mode of delivery in mind.
Compliment your partner
Healthy communication is not only about airing your grievances. It’s also about showing your partner just how much you appreciate him or her on both a large and small scale and that you see them. If your husband cooked you a special dinner, acknowledge it. If your wife had her hair done, tell her how lovely she looks.
Little acknowledgments here and there communicate to your partner that, yes, you notice him or her and happy he or she is a part of your life. Don’t hesitate to tell your partner how you are in love and how much he or she means to you. When you do so consistently, chances are, you will get back what you give and then some by way of the happy relationship you always wanted.