Without a doubt, communication is the most important aspect in any relationship.
You need to first understand that communication is much more than just talking and hearing what the other person is saying.
It is paying attention, getting your point across clearly, understanding your partner, validating their perspective and getting through to each other in a constructive way.
No matter how long you have been together, even small misunderstandings become mountains when your communication is inefficient.
This one factor can either make or break your relationship. You can improve your relationship today by practicing some of the following strategies of effective communication.
Ask and respond
Maintain basic, everyday conversations. Ask your partner how they are doing, how his/her day was, and respond back with equal interest.
This will not only keep you in touch and in sync, it’ll help keep you in the habit of communicating with each other.
Moreover, it will act as a base to be open with your partner issues you might be facing emotionally and mentally.
Communication isn’t just about talking, it’s also about being an active listener. Good listening is perhaps the most important, and unfortunately, the most difficult too.
In order to be a good listener, you really need to pay attention to your partner, wherein you take into account the emotional content of what your partner is saying, and not just the information.
Do not interrupt them when they are talking, or raise an argument or complaint. Most importantly, do not listen to your partner only with the objective of saying something back, or judge them.
No matter what the situation is, it is highly crucial to be respectful to your partner. Be careful of what you say and how you say it.
Remember, words have the power to make or break, and once uttered, cannot be taken back.
So choose your words wisely and never spew venom against your partner.
Assumptions have never done any good to any relationship. They only lead to misunderstandings and hurt feelings.
It’s easy to get worked up in your own head about something, but never actually reach out to the other person. But understand that you’ll only be heading downhill once you entertain those assumptions.
Rather, reach out instead that assume something.
Be honest with each other
Sometimes the most basic step (such as talking to your partner about something that is on your mind) can be challenging. Saying what you really think or feel can be scary.
You may be afraid that simply saying what is on your mind may lead to an argument with your partner.
But it is important to speak up when you are hurting, or you disagree with your partner. Do not pretend to be happy if you are not. Honesty will help you and your partner to solve problems more efficiently.
Spend quality time together
Engaging in quality time with your partner will create a closer bond and a sense of connection. The closer you are, the more you are inclined to share your innermost thoughts and feelings.
Pick a common hobby, have regular date nights, spend Sunday afternoon cuddling under the blanket. The more fun you have, the more you will communicate.
In a healthy relationship, both people must be able to declare their needs and have that need respected.
This especially applies to when good communication is being lost and an argument is starting to develop. Either party should be able to say that they don’t want this argument to continue.
We all mess up at times. And taking responsibility for your actions shows that you are mature. There is no shame in admitting that you made a mistake and apologizing for it.
Infact, apologizing just shows that you hold the relationship above your ego. It’s a sign of strength and responsibility. Rather than justifying your actions, express your regret and just apologize.
Don’t bring up the past
The past should remain in the past. Bringing up past issues to defend the present day issues hinders your relationship from moving forward.
Resurrecting old wounds will increase the intensity of your discussion and steer it in an entirely different direction; far away from a resolution. Just forget it, and keep going ahead.
Avoid passive aggression
Passive aggression is basically expressing negative feelings indirectly instead of openly talking about them.
Signs of passive aggression include:
• Saying one thing, but meaning another
• Hostile humor, such as criticism, sarcasm or taunts
• Sulking or withholding affection
• Saying things like “Fine, whatever”, “Hmm”, or giving one word replies
• Making the other person feel guilty about things you have done
• Pretending to be helpless in a situation
Express your love
Telling your partner how much you love them or what they mean to you, will have such a big impact on your relationship. It creates trust and a dependable environment for your partner.
Speak up about your love and bond with your partner, and also about how far you both have come together in the relationship.
Appreciate and compliment each other
Take the time to appreciate each other. Compliment each other whenever you can in order to spike the love and positivity.
It is easy to keep complaining and bring up things that bother you. But amidst that, you can tend to forget the good things, thus breeding resentment.
Stop taking each other for granted and start pointing out what you appreciate and love about each other.