How To Improve My Relationship Through Communication
By Eva Timothy, Extension Assistant Professor & Carlee Stephenson
One of the greatest essentials of any healthy relationship is good communication. It allows you to express thoughts, feelings and needs to produce a common understanding between persons. If you feel that communication between you and your partner is not up to par, consider applying the following tips for improved relationship quality.
Set aside daily time for your partner: If you want to have better communication with your partner, then making time and daily effort for it is vital. Plan to spend some time with your partner every day to talk. Find what works best for you. If you have children at home, spend time together after they fall asleep or in the morning before they wake up to avoid distractions. This set time can be for several minutes a day or even for hours on end. This will allow you to talk about your day, ask questions, discuss any misunderstandings between each other, and more. Regular communication will strengthen your relationship and fortify it during times of difficulty.
Abandon Assumptions: Presuming you know the way another feels or thinks can cause further frustration for the person confiding in you. Even if you know your partner well, it is impossible to read each other's minds. The trouble with assumptions is that it leads to confusion, misunderstanding, and even anger. However, having an open honest conversation where you listen to understand can lead to a greater emotional connection in your relationship. Listening to understand involves giving your sole focus to your significant other. It also includes eye contact, nodding or asking questions when appropriate, and responding in a way that shows you realize how difficult a situation must have been for your loved one. Practicing this form of listening will let your partner know he can come to you when things get tough.
Listen: There are periods in which your partner or loved one may need time to vent. During these times, they may not want any advice but just someone there to support them. A sympathetic ear can help your partner feel like someone understands the reason behind their frustration or disappointment. Listen with compassion to better understand the subject from their point of view and most importantly, be patient. If the person wants advice and wants to talk about it in depth later, they will let you know when they are ready to communicate further.
Make communication fun: Not all communication will be about emotions or hard times. Try to have fun when you are talking to each other. Talk about the things you enjoy or have in common. Make a bucket list with your partner. You can always look on the internet when you aren't sure what to talk about. For instance, you can visit https://extension.usu.edu/relationships/fun-and-Effective-communication for ideas on how to make communication fun.
Effective communication takes time and practice. No one is perfect, so take hope in the fact that as you try, you will get better at it. These are great ways to get started on strengthening your relationship with a loved one. For more tips, check out the websites below.
- How Can We Communicate Better? 8 Aug. 2017, www.loveisrespect.org/healthy-relationships/communicate-better/.
- Mackler, C. (2018, March 22). 5 Easy Ways To Communicate Better in Your Relationship. Retrieved September 20, 2020, from https://www.joinonelove.org/learn/5-easy-ways-to-communicate-better-in-your-relationships/
- Use Active Listening Skills When Coaching Others. (n.d.). Retrieved September 20, 2020, from https://www.ccl.org/articles/leading-effectively-articles/coaching-others-use-active-listening-skill/