Communication is the key to a successful relationship. And many couples overlook the importance of how to talk to one another. Here are a few tips on making your communication positive.
Ask and inform your partner about what your needs are:
Your partner can’t read your mind, so don’t force him or her to try. Avoid sending hints or beating around the bush with “mind games”; they may seem cute and fun, but your partner might not always think so.
Make time during the day to talk to your partner:
30 minutes a day, preferably sometime during the evening, after you have both had time to wind down, find out what each other did during the day, share thoughts, experiences, etc… MAKE THIS HABITUAL!
Avoid critical and absolute words:
Critical words are words which show judgment: “Why did you?” or “You shouldn’t have done it that way.” Absolute words form roadblocks to communication, preventing improvement: “You will never” or “You always.”
Be considerate of your partner by not taking your frustrations on him or her. Try journaling, taking a walking, or talking yourself through your thoughts to clear your mind. Diffusion of small problems allows you to be more attentive and less reactive to your partner.
Remember and reinforce the concept of teamwork:
Realize that in a healthy, loving relationship no one “wins” an argument; serious commitment means meeting your partner halfway. Attempt to resolve the issue as a team by finding a way to fix the situation through compromising and understanding.
Exhibit to each other that you understand where the other person is coming from:
Validate your partner’s feelings by having empathy, attempting to understand, and clarifying his or her thoughts. Ask questions to prove that you are genuinely interested in what he or she has to say. By summarizing what your partner tells you, you are showing your partner that you are an attentive listener who is making the effort to ensure he or she is being understood.
If you are having difficulty communicating in your relationship, there is hope! You can work out the kinks and create a more effective way working out problems with these tips for positive communication. I want to help you get your relationship back on track. Give me a call at (619) 471-7104 to schedule an appointment.
About Jennine Estes, MFT
Think of me as your relationship consultant, I'm your neutral third party that can help you untangle the emotions and help you figure out what's really going on. I am a Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego, CA. Certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. Supervisor. I write relationship and self growth advice for my column Relationships in the Raw. Creator of #BeingLOVEDIs campaign. MFC#47653