Good communication skills will improve your relationship
It’s a very good idea to work on boosting communication skills in a relationship! Even if they are doing okay. But to be honest, ‘silence’ is a sign that things may not be right in yours. Because withdrawing from an argument and going silent, or playing passive-aggressive games like long sulks, are just two of the things that couples do when communication problems lead to unresolved arguments. The others are criticising, showing contempt for one another, and becoming defensive. Rather than working positively together to fix whatever is wrong.
Figure out how you like to communicate
Start improving things by talking about how you communicate and agree to stop all forms of criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and silences. You really can decide to do that, though you’ll need to support one another whenever someone slips back into old habits.
So whenever one of you says something critical, for example, don’t instantly get angry, or go off in a huff. Instead, say calmly ‘I’m feeling criticised by your last remark, please re-phrase it so we can work together on the problem.’ Do that with a smile, and pretty soon you’ll feel really good. You might even start laughing together.
Be open and honest
Agree that you’re both going to be completely open and honest with one another. That means also never giving each other a hard time during a conversation. Even if you’re upset about what you’re hearing. Because making things difficult for one another means you’ll soon start editing your conversations. And even lying to avoid tricky subjects.
Disagreements are normal
Don’t shy away from conflict. Disagreements are inevitable. And help you learn the problem-solving skills you’ll need when something really difficult happens. Like the loss of a job. But when you do need to bring up a difficult subject, avoid ambushing your partner – sooner or later people either get angry or go silent if you do – and instead agree a time and place to start the discussion, just like a meeting at work. So that you both come to the discussion well prepared.
It’s also worth setting a little time aside – say 30 minutes or so – just before bedtime each day. For you and your partner to be alone together. No kids, phones or TV. Use that time to say lots of nice things to one another, to plan holidays, parties, and even your whole future! Do that every day, and your emotional intimacy will greatly increase – as will your sex life!
Do you have tips for talking to your partner? Share them in the comments below or on Facebook.