Communication is an indispensable asset in a relationship. Through proper, timely communication, solutions to problems are discovered, a better understanding of your spouse’s needs is obtained, and the family’s general happiness is secured.
In contrast, a family that doesn’t communicate well, or at all, is like a man driving in the dead of night without headlights.
If communication in your relationship is not where you expect it to be, don’t panic. There are ways to upgrade conversations with your spouse.
In this article, I share with you 7 pertinent ways to improve communication in a relationship.
Ways to Improve Communication in a Relationship
There is no secret to communicating well with your mate. As someone who has been married for the last 6 years, I find these tips timeless and vast.
You can apply them to improve communication in any relationship, platonic or intimate. I am talking a bit too much…which segues into the first suggestion.
Do Less Talking
Do you want to be heard? I sure do. But talking too much, especially above your mate doesn’t cut it.
Communication is a two-way process. When one person speaks, it becomes a soliloquy or monologue. These are great conversations to have with yourself when introspecting, but it is the bane or undoing of sweet communication in a relationship.
You may have an ocean full of thoughts to pour out on your mate, but too much of one thing is never good. Be balanced.
When you sit down to communicate with your mate, allow them to do some of the talking. Never rush your mate to get to the point; be patient.
Allow them to speak, and once you have discerned they have said enough, then you can take the floor. This is an effective way to improve communication in a relationship.
Practice active listening.
It’s easy to allow your mate to express how they feel, but do you register that information?
Are you simply wanting the conversation to end so that you can move on to doing something else?
When you converse, listening is the ingredient that brings everything to get. It accentuates the flavor in your relationship. When you listen, you do so to act.
I’ve had conversations with my mate that I simply can’t recall. He said what he needed to, but his words fell on deaf ears.
Be completely present with your mate for important conversations.
Choose a Suitable Time
Another way to improve communication in a relationship is to find a suitable time to talk.
Do not communicate at just about any time. Moods, circumstances, and places affect the outcome of conversations.
Think about it.
Would you want to be having a serious conversation while hungry or agitated?
Wouldn’t you likely be more upset if you were communicating with your mate while you were already irate?
Always choose an ideal, suitable time when you’re both relaxed and in good spirits.
This fosters better communication, and you both will dodge screaming at each other.
Don’t you think this would improve communication in your relationship?
How do you treat your mate’s problems when communicated to you?
Do you step on them? What do you do when your spouse brings up a problem, and some action of yours is the source of it?
Do you look into what your spouse is saying? Or do you quickly take offense and lash out?
Understand that perfection in a relationship is as elusive as the wind. You cannot catch up to it, try as you may. When your mate brings up a problem that’s as a result of your actions, try to understand why the situation might cause grievance.
You also need to understand that, in some cases, when you deem it fitting to communicate, your mate might not be in a mental disposition to, even if at the time they don’t seem busy.
Let’s put this into perspective. Let’s say you’re itching to get a serious matter off your chest. Your mate is lounging on the couch, like a potato, watching a television program. You surmise this is the right time, as they are not doing anything of consequence (or that’s what you think).
Could it be that your mate is lounging because he (or she) is trying to unwind and relax after a hectic day? Could it be that mentally or emotionally they are dealing with internal issues, unbeknownst to you?
Rather than assume, understand that this may not be the right time for your spouse. It’s always best to ask, not demand to have a conversation when you want to.
Dodge your devices.
In our society, the smartphone and other ‘smart’ devices seem to take precedence.
People no longer look you in the eye because they’re fixated on their devices. Don’t allow this to be your relationship. When spending meaningful time with your mate, put away those gizmos.
What you’re attending to on your device might be important, but is it urgent or life-threatening? Do you have to respond to a tweet while communicating with your mate? When discussing pertinent issues, must you stop to take a phone call?
You can improve communication in your relationship when you choose to give it exclusive attention.
Distractions may come from other sources. Don’t be so distracted in your thoughts that you fail to listen to the words coming from your spouse’s mouth.
Bite Your Lips
How many times did you feel like hitting back with a snarky retort? Too many times to reiterate?
Even if you feel slighted or disrespected by your mate’s retort, adding fuel to an already fiery situation might set your house ablaze.
Learn to bite your lips.
This is undoubtedly difficult to do, but peace is more important than your ego. It hurts when your mate says something without thought but getting even does more harm than good.
If you want to save your relationship, learning to communicate respectfully guarantees success.
Avoid hitting your mate below the belt through name-calling or shaming. Throw out those cuss words that you typically use. Let your words be gracious, and even if your spirit is disturbed, it may be best to calmly relate to your mate that it’s best to revisit the situation at a more appropriate time.
Remember, you’re trying to improve communication in your relationship, not worsen it.
Eat Humble Pie
When you’re wrong or mess up, say so. Admit that you made a mistake and apologize. Don’t allow pride to separate you and your mate.
It takes a big person with an awesome heart to stand up and admit to their shortcoming. It doesn’t make you less than a person to hold your mate’s hand in yours, look them in the eyes, and say you’re sorry.
When your mate realizes your humility to own up to situations, this leaves a lasting impression that draws you closer together and leaves the door open for more communication.
An aspect of humility is having a readiness to listen. Maybe your mate highlights something that you need to work on. Don’t be afraid to take advice, especially when you’re dishing out counsel to your mate.
Ways to Improve Communication in a Relationship, Conclusion
Your relationship doesn’t work unless you do. It’s not easy to communicate with two imperfect people involved, but it’s possible. Once you adhere to these 7 ways to improve communication in a relationship, you’ll be on your way to success.
On another note, if you are married and having crippling problems, consider reading an article I wrote about how to fix a broken marriage.