• Vaughan Relationship Centre: Counselling to Empower.
How Can We Communicate Better?

In any relationship, communication is key. If you aren’t willing to be open and transparent with your partner, it will invariably result in tension and unwanted stresses that could poison your bond with one another. It all boils down to finding the right time, attitude, body language, and mutual respect when conversing with one another. Everything from a wink to a compliment can impact how your significant other interprets your communication with them, but we’ve boiled the essential steps down to a few crucial points.

Stop

If you consistently prattle on and ignore the rights of your partner to have a say in a matter, you are essentially making them feel unwanted. Regardless of whether you’ve been together for five or fifty years, it is vital that you recognize when to simply stop talking or forcing your point when communicating. Even your body language, such as rolling eyes, pacing, or sighing, plays a role in how your partner perceives you to be feeling. If both of you learn to take the time to stop and allow for the other person to provide their input without exhibiting impatience or a negative attitude, it conveys the sensation that both of you are both allowing for open and fair communication.

Think

Before either of you go on a frustrated tirade or muddle a half-attempted response that could come across as lazy or uncaring, simply think. Take the time to delicately process what you intend to communicate to your partner, and consider whether or not it is ideal to express it. Was the way your partner spoke or reacted to something what made you feel the need to respond the way you intended to? In order to achieve a better level of communication with one another, you each must first learn how to explain your feelings to yourselves before expressing them outwardly. There’s nothing wrong with being thoughtful and composed — rather, it can help a relationship blossom into something extraordinary, whereas attacking and being dishonest can make things worse.

Listen

When you’ve said your piece and have stopped, you then need to lend an equal and respectful level of attentiveness towards what your partner is saying or expressing. It’s only fair that you both practice this and develop it into a habit that will, in turn, bolster your communicativeness with one another. Look your partner in the eyes, be sensitive of their feelings, and never show disinterest or a lack of care when they are speaking, for this will most certainly spell trouble. The more you learn to take the time to truly listen to one another, the deeper of an understanding you’ll both develop, which can make it easier to solve disputes amicably and tenderly. This helps to minimize drama and miscommunication, which in itself can lead to tension and fragmentation later on down the road.

Reach Out

In the event that the previously outlined steps don’t work, the two of you need to mutually agree upon whether or not you want to communicate better with one another. If so, take the time to visit a highly qualified and knowledgeable couples counsellor, who will work closely with both of you as a mediator to help address the root of the problem and how to best expand your communicative effectiveness. They will provide special techniques and thoughtful guidance after analyzing how a couple works together to maintain communication with one another, and they can act as a third set of eyes that more accurately identifies what the problem really is and how to best rectify it. Therapists will also encourage the two of you to grow your relationship and form a tighter bond, which will undoubtedly stem from better communication with one another.

If you don’t communicate properly with someone, they may become confused, frustrated, angry, or disinterested. Sending mixed signals to one another in a relationship is a common side effect of poor communication, but thankfully this can be reversed with awareness, mutual respect, sincerity, and attentiveness.

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