It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been with your partner, miscommunication can result in confusion, anger, hurt or even resentment. Taking the time to reflect on how you are communicating with your partner can help to reduce miscommunication and the painful emotions which can follow. The following article provides some areas to reflect on and some tips for improving your communication with your partner.
Tips for communicating clearly in a relationship
To communicate clearly with your partner, try to:
- Talk to your partner without interruptions or distractions by turning off phones, laptops and the TV. If you have children, make time to talk when they’re in bed or outside playing.
- Think about what you want your partner to hear about what’s happening in your relationship. Writing down what your message is to your partner can make it easier to figure out how you feel.
- Talk about what you feel, need and want. Avoid using ‘you’ statements e.g. ‘you make me feel’. Instead use ‘I’ statements like ‘I need, I want, I feel’.
- When listening to your partner, set aside your own thoughts. Empathising with them can help you understand their needs, wants and feelings.
- Take responsibility for how you feel while also being aware of the tone of your voice as you talk to your partner.
- When talking to your partner, be mindful that you don’t have to win every discussion. Letting the issue go or agreeing to disagree can be more helpful, particularly if the issue isn’t that important.
How to manage conflict with communication
To avoid conflict when you’re talking with your partner, it’s important to focus on the major issue and not be distracted by minor ones. Instead of jumping to conclusions or guessing their motives, take the time to discover all the facts. It’s also essential to discuss the issues that have caused either you or your partner’s feelings to be hurt. Once you understand what’s happened, reframe the issue by talking about the present and future. Going back to the past all the time will only create more conflict.
How to improve your communication skills in a relationship
Taking the time to improve your communication skills can result in a more successful and healthy relationship with your partner. Some ways you can start this process include:
- Discovering some issues that you both agree on. From parenting styles and finances to preferences for holiday destinations. Being on the same page with some issues creates a feeling that you’re working towards the same goals.
- Develop shared closeness and intimacy with your partner. While generally thought of as sexual connection, intimacy can also mean making your partner their favourite meal because they’re tired or cuddling them when you watch TV.
If you feel you and your partner would benefit from communicating more openly and clearly, it is possible to work towards this. To begin this process, we recommend exploring:
- What causes conflict in your relationship.
- What brings happiness and feelings of connection.
- How would you like communication to be different.
- What things you avoid talking about.
Cova Psychology team of highly trained and experienced therapists are here to help you improve your relationship with your partner. We can help you develop positive communication skills while giving you strategies to use if conflict arises. Contact us to book a Psychologist Melbourne. Our Melbourne Psychologists offer a wide range of therapies including EMDR Therapy Melbourne.