Communication will make or break your relationship. If you are having relationship or marriage problems, chances are you have not communicated your needs, your worries, your hopes, or your desires, enough. Marriages and romantic relationships break up because people either don’t communicate as much as they need to or communicate so badly that over time they decide that not communicating is better than communicating and having arguments or feeling unheard.
If the above resonates with you, use these 7 top tips to help you both communicate better. Take charge of your relationship’s success by sharing these with your partner. By doing so you are also telling them that you care enough about your relationship with them to want to make improvements.
7 Top Communication Tips For Couples
1. Communication skills improve the more you practice them. So, set time aside to speak to each other every day. Even if it’s just 15 minutes on some days, make time to catch up daily. This will help you to practice communicating about the small things and big, and help you when it comes to the major issues you need to iron out. This also helps prevent small issues becoming big problems simply because you’ve given each other space to air them.
2. Give your partner a heads-up when required. When you have concerns about anything and just want to be heard or reassured by the other, try starting the conversation with something like, “I just want to get something off my chest…” or “I feel as though I need some reassurance…” This way your partner knows you just want to be heard or receive reassurance, not necessarily solutions. This is especially helpful when a female wants reassurance and her male partner thinks she wants him to fix it. J
3. Be specific about what you want from your partner. Rather than focusing the majority of the conversation on what you don’t want, focus mostly on telling them what you do want. Be solution-focused rather than problem-focused in your communications. It focuses both of your minds towards the future and solutions and will be much more uplifting and worthwhile.
4. Touch whilst you talk. Make physical contact when you are talking because it will help you to feel more relaxed and more trusting of one another. The use of touch releases the hormone oxytocin which will help you to feel calmer, amongst other things.
5. Be supportive. You are teammates and on the same ship; that ship is the life you are making together. Do you want to steer your ship to safety or towards the rocks?
- If you don’t want to end the relationship, don’t steer towards the rocks – be solution-focused rather than problem-focused.
- If you want to keep the relationship, don’t push your partner overboard – keep them onboard by being supportive rather than divisive.
- If your partner is already overboard because they are personally struggling in life or in the relationship, throw them a lifebuoy – get them back to safety by being supportive and helping them to find happiness within themselves.
6. Ask questions rather than making statements. Statements can inflame, questions can bond. Statements suggest you have already made up your mind, that you don’t care to find out the reality, which in their subconscious equates to you not caring enough about them to find out the truth. Questions show you care to understand your partner better, that you want to learn more and help them find solutions for their happiness and health.
7. Focus on your feelings rather than their mistakes. Eliminate blaming-language and instead focus on personal-experience-language. We all experience this world subjectively. In reality there is no true objectivity because we are all subjective beings. Focus on your experience of things and how they made you feel rather than levelling accusations at the other about their behaviour.
If you’re one of those arguing couples who are really struggling to communicate well at the moment, print this off and keep it as a check-list that you review frequently and especially when you know you want to discuss something but feel nervous about the outcome.