A healthy relationship is easy to spot by paying attention to how well the two people listen to each other. How good are you at communication with your partner? When a couple listens well, their conversations on even the most sensitive topics flow smoothly. It is important to understand that you should be able to effectively communicate with your partner. If you and your partner are having problems, it’s time for both of you to reevaluate your skills. Let me help with that:
1. Focus on what they have to say.
More than often, you find yourself ignoring half of what comes out of his/her mouth. That’s the biggest mistake you can make! Never feel like what they have to say is not as important as what you will have to say. It’s not always about YOU. Being selfish about the situation adds to it. Take a step back and realize that feelings are being shared with you. Listen to them openly.
2. Don’t talk when you partner is talking!
How can anything be said if you’re speaking over your partner or yelling? Take turns. It sounds elementary, but that’s going to be the only way a conversation will successfully be done. It doesn’t matter who goes first. One partner needs to say what they have to say while the other one waits their turn. Even if you hear something that you don’t agree with, don’t cut them off and jump straight into your feelings! If you’re anything like me, I make sure I get my point across. I want my partner to know how I feel and that’s okay. It’s how to address the situation that changes things. Hold your tongue and when it’s your turn you can let loose.
3. Choose your words wisely.
Just because it’s your turn to speak doesn’t mean you can say whatever you like. I don’t care what anyone says, words can do damage and I’m sure you’ve been in a altercation that you wish you hadn’t. Stay calm, cool, and collected. Think about what you’re going to say before you say it.
4. Pay attention to non-verbal communication
Swinging those hips and putting your finger in the other individuals face will cause a conversation to lead down south very quickly. For the guys, crossing your arms and watching ESPN while she’s talking is not okay! Nonverbal communication includes facial expressions, eye contact, body postures and gestures, tone of the voice and the space between the speaker and listener. If you adjust your body, you’ll be surprised at how much easier it will be to accept statements and not be seen a threat. When talking to your partner have your hands at your sides or in your lap, uncross your legs, sit or stand in a welcoming manner, uncross your arms, and look interested.
5. Own What’s Yours.
Realize that personal responsibility is a strength, not a weakness. Effective communication involves admitting when you’re wrong. If you both share some responsibility in a conflict (which is usually the case), look for and admit to what’s yours. It diffuses the situation, sets a good example, and shows maturity. It also often inspires the other person to respond in kind, leading you both closer to mutual understanding and a solution. Be confident in knowing that you and your partner can work things out.