4 Tips for Effective Communication in Your Relationship
What is Communication?
In its literal form, communication means sending and receiving information. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary- “communication is a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior”. It is also the exchange of information. From these definitions, one can say that this act of communicating involves two parties and whatever information there is to be passed across.
Communication in a relationship involves two people (the couple) and whatever it is that they are talking about. In a relationship, there are specifications as to how communication should look like but the most important of them all is that it must be positive and progressive. This doesn’t mean that couples will not get to disagree on issues or that all their communication should be based on lovey-dovey talks. It however means that no matter how much they disagree on some certain matters pertaining to their relationship and life, they must make sure they understand the best communication style, make use of it while communicating and get positive and progressive results.
Communication can take different forms as stated in the Merriam Webster dictionary - the use of signs, symbols and or behavior. The major types of communication are the Verbal and the Non-verbal communication types and this two are really essential for couples in a relationship to understand. There is a crucial need for couples to understand each other, the different types of communication and the mood during communication. That way, messages will not be passed or received in the wrong way.
Communication is the heart and life of a healthy relationship and your choice of communication style can be the biggest bio-hazard to your relationship. As mentioned above, there are many things to consider in building effective communication with your partner but the most important is to make sure that no matter the way or communication style you choose, you must always reach a positive and progressive point or conclusion.
Verbal and Non-verbal Communication.
Verbal and non-verbal communication goes hand in hand and there is a need to understand both communication types. As couples, you and your partner should not ‘talk at’ each other but ‘talk with’ each other. Whenever you set out to have a conversation with your partner, it is essential that you do not only listen to the words that they speak but also to their facial expressions and body language at that moment. Remember that “action speaks louder than words ”. Your partner may say to you, ‘I love you’ in a very flat tone, but if you take time to notice his or her facial expression at that moment, one might be able to understand better what is meant.
In a situation where couples talk at each other, there would be many problems. This is because, instead of listening to one another, both parties will try to make their points thus resulting in a waste of time and effort. Also, the couple will have to go over the same issues time and time again. If at all you are going to discuss certain issues with your partner, it is essential that you give it your all and do everything right to make sure that the communication is effective and something positive comes out of it. Remember, couples should stop talking at each other and start talking with each other.
Now that we have discussed communication types in relationships and what communication with our partner is supposed to look like, let's dig deeper into how effective communication can be achieved between individuals in a relationship.
The reason behind lack of communication varies from couple to couple.
Sometimes the stress of work makes a person withdraw, become more reserved, touch, and easily irritated to the extent that they would not like to discuss anything with their partners; they would rather be left alone to try to figure things out. The more couples try to figure things out on their own the more the situation might get worse because being in a relationship makes your partner another you and like the common saying "two heads are better than one" so it is better to share your thoughts with your partner than to keep it to yourself than gradually become a angry person.
Research has shown that couples that communicate effectively in their relationship tend to do better in every part of their life than couples that communicate Ineffectively. Why? Because they are able to share their burden with their partner thereby, making it easy to carry.
All couples love to communicate effectively but most of them don't know how to and that is what we would be discussing as stated above.
Most couples try to communicate when they are angry or sad or too happy but it is important to understand that when we are not in our normal or original or calm state we do not make the best decisions therefore there is a need to make sure that before communicating with our partners we have to be in the right state of mind for communication (i.e we have to be prepared for communication before we start).
Stated below are 4 ways you can have effective communication in your relationship.
1. Be Fully Attentive
One of the biggest mistakes that couples make when they are speaking with their partner is that they do not pay full attention. This causes a lot of issues because they have to talk about the same thing over and over again. Active listening is the key ingredient for effective communication. When you are speaking with your partner there is a need to pay full attention. Try as much as possible to maintain eye contact. Do not play with objects. Avoid vigorous movement of the legs or other parts of the body. Try as much as possible to not interrupt your partner while he or she is talking. This will help you to understand your partner well because you will be able to take note of both their verbal and non-verbal way of communication at that moment and it helps your partner communicate better with you.
2. Communicate Everyday
Except in cases whereby communication is restricted, couples should make sure that they communicate daily There is need for couples to put some time aside everyday to communicate with each other and to catch up with the happenings of the day. This helps the couple to become more intimate. It also helps them to know what is going on in each other's world. By doing this daily and paying full attention in the process they are able to understand each other and are able to build healthier relationships with their partner.
3. Use "I statements" (Be Polite)
It is essential that when we are discussing with our partners we do not allow our emotions to take over us. It is better to speak intentionally and politely to our partner. The use of the "I statements" when talking with our partner especially when discussing serious issues.
Instead of pushing blames and making it seem like whatever happened was our partners fault, we can make use of "I statements". For instance, "I would like it if you could wash the dishes after we eat" or "I would be happy if you could create more time for us to talk" this sounds better and would have more effect than "You never wash the dishes after we finish eating" or "You never create time for us to talk about important issues".
4. Listen with Focus and Intent
You would agree with me that you would be sad if after pouring your heart out to your partner and telling him or her how you feel about a particular thing in your relationship and you have to come back next week to discuss that same thing. Why? Because your partner only listened at that moment and said "OK! I will change" but he or she did not listen with Focus and Intent. In every relationship, it is essential that while you are communicating with your partner you are intentional and you will hold on to your integrity that when you say Yes, you mean it. If you have to go over the same thing every time it means your partner wasn't focused while you were discussing. This can lead to an unhealthy relationship.
Taking note of points like this is important in building a great relationship. Let’s meet in the comment section and you can also share more ways with me on how we can have effective communication our relationship