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Five Tips For Better Communication in a Relationship

In a relationship, silence kills

Good communication is critical to any relationship. So many of the problems in a typical romantic relationship are really caused by poor communication skills. Frequently, if both parties could simply express their true feelings, the issue would be resolved. In fact, the ability to communicate well is probably the most important skill there is when it comes to relationships. Read on for five valuable, practical tips for better communication within a romantic relationship.

1. Keep at it. In a relationship, silence kills. Sometimes, out of spite or anger, a person may employ the ‘silent treatment’ with their significant other. But, tactics like this are always destructive, and bad for both parties. The longer a problem remains unresolved, the likelier it is to fester and provoke feelings of resentment or anger. Silence can be a particular problem in long-term relationships. Some couples will allow themselves to slowly drift apart over the years so that eventually they hardly speak at all. Such couples are, of course, likely to cease being a couple at all.

2. Really listen. While it might seem obvious, truly listening to what the other person has to say can be a big challenge at times. Oftentimes, someone gets so wrapped up in their own wants and desires that they forget that their partner’s cares are just as important. No relationship can survive selfishness of this sort, so slowing down and giving the other person a chance to express themselves honestly is key. Those who are involved with someone who doesn’t listen are likely to feel that their needs are not being met by the relationship.

3. Don’t interrupt or talk over. Again, this advice might seem incredibly obvious, but some people have bad habits when it comes to communicating with others. Some folks, especially those who are talkative, may drown their partner in a flood of words. This can particularly be an issue for those who are reserved and may be less likely to speak up. Allowing the other person their say is ultimately a basic matter of respect — and without respect, no relationship can thrive over the long run. Conversation should always be a matter of give and take, rather than one person talking at the other.

4. Say what you mean. Sometimes, people force their significant other to play a guessing game. For example, if a person is feeling annoyed or resentful, they won’t say why, leaving their partner in confusion. Behaviour like this is counter-productive and bad for the relationship. Intuiting what another person thinks — but does not actually say — is frequently impossible. Trying to guess what someone else is feeling is exhausting and dispiriting. Communicating in a forthright, direct manner is the healthier approach.

5. Talk face to face. With the advent of texting and internet chat, some modern couples communicate almost entirely through their phones. While there’s nothing wrong with this way of staying in contact, it shouldn’t be the only mode of communication employed. Talking face to face is a vital part of staying close. Body language, after all, can be as important an aspect of communication as words themselves. In person, it is less likely that words will be misconstrued or misinterpreted, and subtleties that might otherwise be lost can be detected.

Whether you just started dating, or have been married for 40 years, quality communication is always vital to maintaining a strong, healthy relationship. Talking and relating to each other is at the very heart of what makes relationships work, so all couples should try to adopt habits that promote better communication.

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