Listen with Your Heart—10 Tips for Couple Communication
Couple communication is a subtle art with a lot of dos and don’ts. No one ever really explains the dynamics of maintaining effective communication between couples, but this article will give you ten tips to smooth things out with your partner.
Apart from physical attraction and the magic pixie dust of fate, communication is a major part of what brings people together in friendships, relationships, and marriage. No wonder, then, that communication is the golden key for couples who want to enrich and sustain their relationship.
Still, you’ve got to wonder: isn’t it funny that no one really tells you how to communicate? Here’s a secret: it may not be easy, but it’s not exactly rocket science either. Here are ten tips for couple relationship communication and conflict resolution.
1. Just Listen: Don’t Judge, Don’t Advise, Don’t Discount
When your significant other is talking, listen. Listening is probably the most important part of communication, especially if you are a man. Don’t interrupt the conversation by offering advice that has not been requested. You end up looking judgmental and condescending.
The art of listening involves a lot of empathy and patience. Put yourself in your partner’s shoes and try to understand their situation. If you don’t understand, ask them to repeat or clarify.
2. Say What You Want From Your Partner
Your significant other can’t read your mind unless you express yourself clearly and directly. If you want more help with the chores, be open about it. If you want your partner to contribute more to your finances, say it.
Also, before you start talking, say if you are looking for advice or are just venting. Don't leave people guessing, which creates unnecessary stress and tension.
If it is something that you feel is sensitive, it might be okay to involve trusted friends and family. However, be very careful with this option as it is easily misconstrued for overstepping and lead to mistrust. Try using a best friend, parents, or siblings for a start.
3. Think Before You Speak
Communication is meant to be a conscious process. Don’t be the kind of person who opens their mouth every time they feel that they have something to say. In the military, they teach you that every conversation should have an objective. Unless you’re making small talk, make your conversations thoughtful and objective to avoid hurting your partner inadvertently.
4. Be Sincere and Truthful
Agree from the word go to always be open and truthful with your partner. This builds trust and creates an environment where each party is free to communicate their feelings and needs without needing to justify themselves.
However, there is a limit to this sincerity in a couple of communication problems. If you suspect your partner is doing something like cheating but have no evidence, don’t say it. Get concrete evidence before confronting them, because if you say it and it happens to be false, you will push them away for good.
5. Respect Each Other’s Opinion
A lot of couple communication articles encourage diplomacy in a relationship, which means respecting each other’s opinions and agreeing to differ when the situation calls for it. Relationship experts do it by recognizing that a couple is composed of three entities: the two individuals and their relationship.
That means that you always have to think of the ‘I,’ ‘You,’ and ‘We’ to help clarify your goals and improve couple communication. However, sometimes love is gone for good, and no amount of communication will resuscitate it. When it’s time to find new love, visit DatingMentor.org for best rated dating sites and start your search for true love.
6. Make a Conscious Effort to Keep Communication Alive
Couple and family communication tend to fizzle out when it left to its own means. Work, school, kids, friends, hobbies, and other distractions will eat into it unless every party makes a conscious decision to keep communication alive.
Set aside times for talking, even when you have no specific agenda. It allows everyone to start speaking their minds. However, it would help if you always chose the right place to initiate conversations.
7. Always Clarify and Avoid Assumptions
Assumptions are a sure way to kill any conversations. Don’t jump ahead of your partner by having preconceived conclusions before they are actually spoken. If you have any doubts or questions, have them clarified right there and then. The successful conveyance of meaning is the only way to have an effective couple’s communication.
8. Ask After Their Welfare
One early trend in a couple’s lack of communication is disinterest in daily welfare. Simple things like ‘how were your day’ or how did the meeting go’ are crucial if you care about your partner and want to keep communication alive.
Be open when asking such questions to give them a chance to share. If you ask, ‘did your meeting go well?’ chances are that you will get answered with a simple yes or no statement. However, an open-ended question gives more room for sharing.
9. Learn to Read Their Non-Verbal Cues
In his book ‘Silent Messages,’ Professor Mehrabian showed that at least 55% of meaning is conveyed through non-verbal cues. Facial expressions, gestures, inferred meaning, emotions, among others, carry much of the weight in meaning. So much for direct and clear communication.
Learn to read your partner. What signs show their frustration? What says they’re angry? Part of being a successful couple is being tuned to each other’s body language to understand them better.
10. Don’t Read More Than Is Proffered
On the same note, don’t be an annoying mind reader. No one likes to be probed and analyzed like a specimen. If they asked about your day, answer, and leave it at that. Why do you need to know why they asked about your day?
As a couple, you need to learn not to investigate each other’s every motive and trust that they mean your good. If you can’t trust your significant other, there is little reason to be together in the first place.
Any relationship needs effective communication to remain successful. Whether it’s between you and your parents, friends, a boss at work, or couple communication, embracing these tips will help you deal with people better.
What do you wish that those close to you knew about you? Let us know in the comments below.
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