Do you have the right communication skills? Communication is the cornerstone of every healthy relationship.
Effective communication is a powerful way to deepen intimacy and emotional connection.
It allows partners to express themselves freely and work together to build a meaningful relationship with each other.
Couples who work on developing the right communication skills often appear to have a happier relationship with each other.
Increasing the quality of the communication within your relationship might be the best way to help it grow.
The hallmark of any successful relationship is great communication. Couples who seem unhappy most likely haven’t mastered the art of effective communication.
If you want to build a healthy and lasting relationship with your partner then you have to improve your communication skills.
Communication is vitally important in any relationship especially where intimacy is concerned.
If you want stability and emotional connection, you have to start by talking about your relationship goals and knowing what you both want.
By intentionally setting aside time to talk with your spouse about the status of your relationship, you can avoid problems and instead work on how you can be more compatible together.
Unfortunately, interpersonal communication skills are rarely taught in school. We have to learn them independently.
If you’ve never tried to strengthen your communication skills, they’re probably not as good as they could be!
Enhance your communication skills and your relationship with these 10 important strategies that I’m going to outline in this article.
TOP 10 CRITICAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS FOR COUPLES
#1 Focus on the specific behavior rather than the person
When you want to communicate with your spouse, address the other person’s behavior or words.
Don’t attack your spouse directly or indirectly instead go straight to the problem at hand. Learn to present issues rather than confrontation.
It’s much more agreeable when someone says, “It hurts my feelings when you don’t listen to me” instead of “Why do you have to be so rude all the time and ignore me?”
When you attack the other person, they become defensive. When people are defensive, unproductive fighting and arguments are the common result.
You’re interested in changing the other person’s behavior. You can’t change who they are. Focus on the behavior only.
The key to communicating effectively is to not criticize your partner. If you do this, the conversation will end faster than a lightning bolt.
#2 Find the right time
If your partner comes home from work and slams the door, it might not be the best time to share your displeasure over the dirty dishes in the sink.
Pick a time when everyone is calm and there are few distractions to interfere in your discussion. When you bring up issues at the wrong time, they tend to escalate.
If you can’t seem to find the right time to talk since your spouse is always busy, try to have meaningful conversations on weekends or right before you both go to bed.
Most people make the mistake of approaching their spouse with important issues when they’re really busy or not in the mood to have deep conversations.
Approach your spouse at the right time to avoid turning small issues into big problems you cannot solve.
#3 Be clear and assertive
It’s unfair and unproductive to expect others to read your mind. Be bold enough to be open and transparent when talking to your spouse.
Your happiness is as much your responsibility as it is anyone else’s. Don’t wait for your spouse to guess what the problem is, tell him directly.
Let your partner know how they can fulfill your needs. If something is bothering you, share that information.
You’ll get your problems solved faster and your needs met as soon as possible if you inform your partner in time.
Try to be as clear and assertive as you can when communicating with your spouse. Don’t use body language that he doesn’t understand; express yourself well.
#4 Be willing to compromise
This is one of the biggest communication skills couples need to nurture because being in a relationship is like a partnership.
The moment you decide to be committed to a serious relationship, you’re no longer going to be making decisions alone.
Your partner needs to be involved in your life and sometimes, things may not go your way so you have to learn to compromise to make your relationship work.
Compromising means that both of you give something up for the benefit of the relationship. All successful relationships require compromise to remain healthy.
When there is something up for discussion between you and your partner, be willing to compromise in order for peace to reign.
That doesn’t mean you have to let your partner ride over you all the time but you should be able to discern situations where you need to stand your ground or compromise.
#5 Consider the other person’s point of view
One major communication problem most people have is a lack of consideration or empathy.
As a couple, you’re supposed to be a team and work together at all times. That means learning how to be empathetic and considerate towards each other.
Don’t go into conversations with your mind already made up on an issue that hasn’t been discussed. Your spouse should have a say in the matter too!
Consider the other person’s point of view when you communicate. Strive to be empathetic towards your partner.
Talk a walk in the other person’s shoes and try to understand his side of the story. You might realize that you’re being unreasonable and rigid.
#6 Create a safe environment
If you’re in a relationship where one partner is afraid to express himself freely because of future consequences, there won’t be effective communication.
Don’t portray yourself as someone who is unapproachable. If you want to have a healthy and happy relationship, create a safe environment for your spouse.
When everyone feels safe to express their feelings without fear of rejection, criticism, sarcasm or punishment, the relationship will flourish.
Be receptive to the concerns of your partner. Don’t dismiss him with the wave of your hand and make him feel insignificant in your relationship.
When you react poorly during meaningful conversations, your partner will be less likely to communicate freely the next time.
Create an environment that permits honest sharing without punishment or consequences. Be grateful when your partner is willing to speak up.
#7 Remember to listen
This is one of the most important communication skills every couple needs to have.
Most people tend to only talk about themselves or their problems without giving a second thought to what someone else has to say.
In a healthy relationship, it’s not just about getting your point across. You also have a responsibility to listen.
Couples need to learn to listen to each other more so everyone can be heard. If you refuse to listen when your partner speaks, you’re automatically creating a one-sided relationship.
And that’s one of the reasons why some people cheat on their partner. They don’t feel loved, wanted or appreciated.
Try to listen more to your partner when you communicate. You might learn something invaluable that could improve your relationship.
#8 Avoid giving in just to keep the peace
You might think that keeping issues to yourself will bring peace in your relationship but it often backfires.
When you refuse to communicate your feelings to your partner, you may end up harboring resentments over time.
Being resentful or keeping silent grudges can lead to emotional disconnection and an unfulfilling relationship.
Don’t avoid confrontation or having deep conversations with your partner simply because you want to keep the peace.
While that might work in the short-term, your feelings are unlikely to change over time. The issues will remain unsolved and there may be resentments lingering too.
Your own happiness is at stake. Avoiding conflict will only make you feel better today but the problems will keep recurring until you discuss them openly.
#9 Let go of the past
It’s easy to forgive but hard to forget when someone hurts us. Even when they’ve apologized and amended their ways, we still hold on to those painful memories.
When you’re trying to hold a conversation with your partner, it’s important to leave the past in the past and avoid bringing up previous issues.
Everyone makes mistakes and no one is perfect. Bringing up past issues only stirs up old wounds and creates negative emotions.
Keep your attention on today and the future. Leave the past behind where it belongs. Don’t dig up old problems just to create an aura of negativity.
If what you want to discuss doesn’t have any positive impact on your relationship, let it go and move on with other things.
If you’ve already had the conversation multiple times with your spouse, try to make peace with the outcome.
There is no gain in opening up old wounds and sealed closets. If you want progress in your relationship, let the issue die down and never bring it up again.
#10 Avoid making assumptions
Many communication problems are the result of wrong assumptions made by couples.
It’s easy to make up fake stories in your head and imagine the worst scenarios when it comes to a romantic relationship.
In every situation, the best way to avoid problems is to seek clarity right away. Make sure you understand the situation before proceeding.
It might just be a simple misunderstanding but if not handled correctly, it can lead to bigger problems.
An inaccurate assumption can be the starting point of another disagreement. Learn to ask the right questions and avoid making hasty conclusions.
When you communicate with your spouse, get rid of any little voice in your head that could be feeding you with lies. Open your mind and try to really understand first.
Don’t jump into conclusions before getting a good look at the big picture. Remember that you’re supposed to be a team working together not against each other.
Effective and kind communication is important in all relationships no matter how many years you’ve been together.
When you know how to communicate effectively with your spouse, you can diffuse problems faster.
Great communication skills can make or break a relationship and it’s important for every couple to learn how to communicate better.
Keep the lines of communication open by creating a safe and equal environment that welcomes open conversations.
Avoiding the situation only postpones the problem and creates bigger issues. Be assertive and share your concerns freely.
Take responsibility for the quality of your relationship by strengthening your communication skills. You’ll like the result!
Improving your communication skills doesn’t happen overnight though. It involves constant work and the willingness to grow.
You have to make an intentional effort to continue talking to your partner about a lot of things including your relationship.
Ask questions and be curious about your partner’s deepest desires. You’ll be surprised how much your relationship will grow!