Relationships are important to every individual as they provide us with comfort, love, and support. People may feel like they understand what is needed to have a successful relationship but may not take into consideration that we all grew up communicating differently. Most individuals tend to love and communicate the way that they witnessed as a child or through previous experiences. Their past could have been effective but could also have been toxic and negative.
What many individuals tend to forget is that communication can easily make or break a relationship at any given time. Now with present day technology, we would imagine that it has become easier to communicate with those that we love, but it has also made it more difficult to really speak to one another and relate on an emotionally level with someone.
Here are some things to keep in mind in order to continue to grow effectively in communicating with your partner:
- Be specific and clear about what you feel.By expressing your thoughts clearly to your partner, they have a better understanding of how you feel.
- You shouldn’t talk in anger.In the heat of the moment, our emotions can tend to dictate our responses. Take a moment to reflect on what you may be about to say, before saying it out loud. It’s difficult to take things back if you don’t mean them.
- Don’t utilize social media to express the situations that are happening in your relationships.Social media can invade the privacy of your relationship, and in turn cause more harm than good. Make sure that you and your partner are both on the same page of what to share for the public eye.
- Listen to your partner, do not be engaging in other tasks.When you are speaking with your partner give them your undivided attention. Put your phone down, turn down the radio or TV and focus on what your partner is trying to communicate to you.
- Make time for each other to have conversations about every day topics things not just when something has gone wrong, or affected you negatively.
- Be cautious of your body language and tone.Things such as, standing over your partner or being sarcastic is not effective communication.
- Be open minded to conversations, especially when discussing a new topic.It’s important to remember if your partner is bringing something to your attention then this is considered important to them.Take the time as mentioned above to give them your undivided attention and hear them out.
According to John Gottman, “Make dedicated, nonnegotiable time for each other a priority, and never stop being curious about your partner. Don’t’ assume you know who they are today, just because you went to bed with them the night before. In short, never stop asking questions. But ask the right kind of questions.”
About the Author: Cassandra I Limon, LPC