Do you ever feel like your partner doesn’t understand you?
If you’ve been experiencing either of these problems, it may help to know you’re not alone.
In fact, lack of communication between partners is often one of the top reasons for breakups.
There is hope, however. You can learn how to communicate effectively with your partner!
Most people don’t have any idea what it takes to have effective communication.
Even though you’ve been talking your whole life, have you really been communicating?
There’s so much more to communication that merely talking.
Effective communication includes non-verbal cues like eye contact, body language, and tone of voice, as well as the words you choose.
Communication also includes being able to listen and actually hear what your partner is saying.
If you’d like to communicate better with your partner, here are some ideas that can help:
Discuss problems appropriately.
If arguing is a problem for you and your partner, you can turn the arguments into meaningful discussions with the right techniques.
When you need to discuss an issue, set the right stage for effective communication by choosing a time when both of you are calm and in a good mood.
Instead of both of you talking at the same time, only one person should be allowed to talk at a time.
While one person is talking, the other person should concentrate on listening and hearing what’s actually being said.
When the first person finishes what they want to say, the other can then express their views about the situation.
Acknowledge your partner’s feelings and concerns rather than putting them down for how they feel.
Blaming or accusing may also be an issue you have with your partner.
You can both help alleviate this problem by using “I” messages rather than “you”
Starting a statement with “You always” will accomplish one thing and one thing only: you, your partner, or both of you will immediately become defensive.
Use “I feel” or “I think” statements to express your feelings without blaming your partner for doing, or not doing, something you thought they should.
Here’s an example: Instead of saying “You’re never home in time for dinner,” you could say, “I feel upset about having spent time preparing a meal and having to share in it alone.”
In this way, your partner knows how you feel but they haven’t been personally attacked.
Listen effectively. You may feel like your partner doesn’t listen.
There’s a method of communicating called active listening in which one person talks and then the other paraphrases what was said.
After listening to the first partner, the second partner asks, “Did I understand you correctly?” and then paraphrases what they just heard.
Listening to each other might not even be the problem.
It might be that one or both of you haven’t actually understood what the other has said.
Active listening will clarify your comprehension.
Focus on one topic at a time.
Try to stick to one subject until the issue has been resolved or you agree to take a break from it.
Some couples start out talking about which type of dog to get and end up arguing about where to send their children to college.
This can help you make decisions and reduce the amount of stress you may both feel while you’re talking.
Effective communication with your partner is of the utmost importance if you want your relationship to last.
You want to know that your partner hears you, understands you, and is there for you.
They need to be able to convey to you their hopes and dreams as well as their concerns.
If you take the time to learn how to communicate effectively with your partner by following these ideas, you’ll enjoy greater happiness and success in your relationship.
What was the most memorable conversation you last had with your partner about?
How did it make you feel?
Talk about that in the Personal Growth Cafe Community!
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