how to communicate with your partner

6 effective ways to communicate with your partner

A healthy conversation allows the flow of positive thoughts and emotions, which makes it easier for couples to deal with conflicts, move past misunderstandings, and build a strong, harmonious relationship.
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Words once spoken cannot be taken back. When tempers flare and misunderstandings take centre stage, we often end up saying damaging words to our partners. The emotional scar caused during such outbursts can permanently sever our relationships. The way we speak and our attitude impact our relationships in more ways than one. Thankfully, it is never too late to master the art of communication, which is the backbone of every strong relationship.

It begins with getting in touch with our own feelings, Sarah Calvert, a relationship therapist, tells The Guardian. “Otherwise, you won’t be able to say what we need and what we want. Good communication fosters emotional intimacy, which can lead to greater feelings of fulfilment, understanding, and safety,” she says. Moreover, a healthy conversation allows the flow of positive thoughts and emotions, which makes it easier for couples to deal with conflicts, move past misunderstandings, and build a strong, harmonious relationship. So, if you are looking to improve your communication with your partner, here are a few ways to accomplish it.

Learn to listen

Communication is all about listening to your partner. But learning this skill is not as easy as it sounds. During an argument, you may find it hard to control your own thoughts, but making an honest effort to do so always counts. Practicing active listening, a soft skill that teaches you to put all your focus on your partner while they speak, can go miles in improving communication. Research conducted by the United States Institute of Peace suggests that active listening can improve mutual understanding between people. When you make eye contact, nod, and smile, it makes your partner feel validated and they know you are paying attention to them.

Do not blame or accuse

How you say something is just as important as what you say. Hence, blaming your partner or making accusations can lead to relationship distress. Saying things like, “You never…”, “You always…”, or “It’s your fault…” in an argument with your partner can make them feel hostile. No one likes to be berated or judged harshly. Instead, replace those phrases with “I feel hurt when you…” or “I am upset because…” to communicate your needs effectively without belittling each other.

Do not make assumptions

It is impossible to know what your partner feels and thinks at all times. Making sweeping assumptions about your spouse and their actions can often lead to misunderstandings, which can quickly escalate into a conflict. This is where effective communication comes into the picture. Instead of jumping to conclusions, just ask questions and listen to what your partner has to say. Being an empathetic listener will help you and your partner stay on the same page.

Be honest and open

Being honest is a simple yet effective way to improve communication between couples. It begins with saying what you mean and making your feelings clear. Honesty entails being transparent in our words and actions. Problems tend to build when you keep your feelings bottled up inside and avoid talking to your partner about them. If something is bothering you, talk to your partner. Commit yourself to be completely honest and open, and trust that your partner will hear and understand what you have to say and will reciprocate positively.

Show that you care

Communication isn’t about just words. There are many other ways to communicate with your partner to build a long-lasting relationship. For instance, use actions to convey your love and support. Who doesn’t like being made to feel special and loved? It takes a conscious effort on your part, one that you need to remember to do consistently, to express your affection. Begin with simple things such as taking the trash out or running an errand for them. If your wife gets promoted at work, applaud her for her success by celebrating her feat. If your husband has cooked a special lunch, appreciate him for making an effort. Where words fail, these little things do their magic to make a relationship long-lasting.

Learn to let things go

It is pertinent to not let a simple discussion about your current situation turn into an argument about past issues. Instead, evaluate and figure out what you can do at the moment to solve the issue. The goal is to learn how to communicate effectively and strengthen your relationship. Don’t let small annoyances affect you negatively. Resist the urge to worry about minor things and situations that are beyond your control. Simply let it go!

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