We’ve asked the LoveTripper’s out there what they feel is the number one issue they want to improve about their relationship in this survey. The majority of you LoveTripper’s said that improving communication in your relationship is what needs help the most.
Proper communication in every facet of life is tricky, and it doesn’t get any easier when dealing with the person you love the most. We’re going to help you LoveTripper’s get on the road to better communication with these easy tips.
Someone Has To Take The Lead
One of you needs to be the leader here. It’s not going to be easy at first, but be ready to lead by example. Push through the challenge of opening the channels of communication in your relationship.
As the leader it’s important that you keep a cool, calm, and level head. Drive that conversation forward with a well thought out point. At the same time, you have to be receptive and open when your partner wants to take the lead.
If you really want to improve the communication in your relationship then be ready to stand up and be the strong leader your relationship needs.
Communication Is 50% Listening
Communication is a two-way street. It’s not just about sharing your thoughts and feelings. It can be argued that listening is more important than talking. You would think that listening is easy, but it’s probably the hardest part about communication.
As our partners are talking to us we often tend to formulate a response even before they are done communicating their point. You have to stop and listen to what your partner is saying. Just open your ears and mind and absorb their thoughts and feelings.
There are many non-verbal cues you should be paying attention too as well. Is your partner looking at you? Looking away? Scowling? Listening to body language is just as important as the words according to this article on helpguide.org.
Before responding, in your own words, repeat back what they just said to you. Did you correctly interpret the point they tried to get across? You will find that your partner appreciates your responses much more because you have shown that you are really listening to what they have to say.
If you’d like to practice active listening go read out Couples Challenge on the weekly questions that can strengthen your relationship. Practice makes perfect!
Ask Open Ended Questions
Let’s say you and your partner just finished planning your vacation. Your partner is giving you the impression that they might not be very happy with the end result.
Open ended questions are your best tool to improving communication in your relationship. Notice the difference in the following questions.
How do you feel about the vacation we planned?
One question is going to generally end in a yes or no type of answer. That’s not really going to help you understand WHY they are unhappy about the vacation.
The other question produces an answer that takes some additional thought by your partner. Now you’ll get an answer that will stimulate a conversation.
If you make the effort to really listen like mentioned in the point above you should be able to get to the bottom of what is really bothering your partner. And you’ll both get that awesome vacation you want!
Timing Is Important
It’s not the best idea to engage in a deep conversation after a long day’s work, or after a particularly stressful event. If you feel the need to discuss something important try to wait for a time when you are both calm and can dedicate yourselves 100% to the conversation.
If you feel that something has to be discussed ASAP, but you know that the timing isn’t right, then we suggest bringing up the discussion point for a later time. You want to try saying something like the following:
Your partner will appreciate you not pushing the issue at a bad time, and will be more receptive to the conversation later.
Don’t Push Issues if Your Partner Doesn’t Want to Talk About It
Some conversation points are easier to talk about than others. Your partner might not want to talk about a certain subject. There could be many reasons. It makes them uncomfortable. They don’t know how to properly communicate their feelings. They feel embarrassed about the subject.
Whatever the reason is you should not push the issue. It will only cause your partner to retreat further and feel like you’re being pushy or invading their personal space.
Acknowledge your partner’s reluctance to discuss the point and give them the option to bring it up with you in the future. Try saying something like:
We recommend you read this great article on the 3 Methods to Communicate Better in a Relationship, if you find your partner is continually putting up roadblocks to opening up the communication lines.
Try to Talk In the WE Perspective, Not YOU or ME
Conversations can become very adversarial if we’re not careful. Communication is not about YOU vs ME, but US vs the problem. Try to keep the you, me, and I’s out of the conversation. Instead talk from a perspective of we and us. This will help keep the communication focused on your relationship, and not each other.
This tip can get tricky at times, so don’t over think it. Here is an example of how you can rephrase your conversation to make it more WE focused:
“I get the impression you’re not happy with the vacation we planned. How can we improve the situation? Let’s make sure we have the best vacation possible together!”
See how the second version shifts the focus away from your partner being the problem to the vacation being the problem. Your partner will be much more open about their issues with the planned vacation and be a lot more receptive to finding a solution.