Communication is one of the main building blocks of a relationship, whether that is verbal or non-verbal communication. Remember a time when things were tough in your relationship? I bet the communication with your partner was also severely affected if not totally blocked. This article will just give you 10 tips on how to improve your communication. Give them a try, even before the going gets tough!
Tip #1: Make time to talk
One of the first recommendations I give couples who have come for couples counseling is to make specific times each day to spend talking to each other. Make time for each partner to be able to share, whatever is important and on his or her mind.
Tip #2: Listen attentively and stay focused on what your partner is saying
When it is your partner’s time to talk, it is your task to simply listen. Refrain from rehearsing what it is that you are going to say as soon as it is your time. Your partner will sense that you’re not fully present. Listen the way you would like to be listened to.
Tip #3: Listening is not offering solutions
Coming up with solutions is more of a male tendency, however women are good at is as well, as a means to have it dealt and over with. Wait for your partner to ask: ‘So what do you think?’ or ‘What do you think I should do now?’
Tip #4: Call your partner during the day to have a chat
It seems like such a small thing but it is so effective and important: letting your partner know what’s happening for you. A simple five minute phone call transmits more than the effort it takes.
Tip #5: Write notes, SMS or emails to each other, if other communication channels are not available
Even if you don’t have time to make a phone call, you can always write a very short message like: ‘I’m thinking of you’ or ‘Good luck with the meeting today’. Again, the same as with the phone call it is more than just the message that you write.
Tip #6: Refrain from taking calls when taking to your partner
Once you have made time, turn your mobile phone on silent and reduce other interruptions to a minimum. This is about you and your partner, not about anyone else. Make it a priority, just like a business meeting.
Tip #7: Look into each other’s eyes
The eyes are the windows of the soul – so if you want to truly share with each other from soul to soul, then use the access point to do so. Intimacy is also accessed by looking into each other’s eyes, and that’s what this communication is partly about: to connect with each other on an intimate level.
Tip #8: Don’t assume – ask questions
Once you have been in a relationship for a while, you will fall into the trap of assuming what hasn’t been said. Ask questions instead. You might have heard what the word ‘assume’ stands for? Just take the first three letters and it is said ‘that’s what you make out of ‘u’ and ‘me’.
Tip #9: Be clear, honest and open
If you want to improve your relationship, improve your ability to be clear, honest and open. Answer your partner’s questions without becoming defensive.
Tip #10: Show gratitude and appreciation
Express gratitude for the time spent: ‘I really appreciate that you took the time to listen today’ or ‘Thanks for sharing this with me’ are simple ways to acknowledge each other – this is what communication, in the end, is all about.