Good communication is the cornerstone of a strong and healthy relationship. Relationships commonly break down and apart due to poor communication. To keep your relationship thriving, good communication skills are necessary. Here are some tips on how to communicate in a relationship.
Always communicate respectfully
Respectful communication is a far cry from disrespectful communication and is needed for a love to be healthy. Non-verbal communication is just as important, if not more, than verbal communication.
Non-verbal expressions such as eye rolling, an angry stance with crossed arms, or looking away from the person who is talking are all non-verbal cues that indirectly communicate disrespect.
On the contrary, engaged and careful listening, consistent eye contact and the expression of compassion, interest and caring all communicate respect.
Tone of voice used can also communicate respect or disrespect, either way. When a person uses a softer, gentler and more compassionate and understanding tone of voice, the words can be heard and absorbed more easily. Respect is communicated through tone and the approach.
But if someone is using an angry tone, or a tone that communicates a chip on the shoulder or an attitude, the words expressed will be interpreted very differently and may not be heard as easily. What will be heard instead is the attitude and disregard.
So, non-verbal cues and tone of voice contribute largely to respectful communication.
Respect, value and show appreciation for the other’s viewpoint
Respectful communication also involves appreciation and valuing of the other person’s viewpoint, feelings and opinions. This must be demonstrated and clearly shown between two people. The only way to have healthy communication is to value the other person’s feelings and perspective as much as you value your own.
In communication, we always want to get our own point across and be understood, but it is just as important, if not more important, to understand the other person, too. Communication and understanding are a two-way street.
So before launching into a speech about your own feelings, try to understand where the other person may be coming from first. This shows caring and respect. When we show that we care about and value the other person’s feelings as much as we value our own, that shows love.
And when we feel valued, appreciated and understood, good feelings in a relationship will abound. But when we feel undervalued, unappreciated and misunderstood, bad feelings will exist and persist.
Even when there are disagreements, it is very important to always remain respectful. People can respectfully disagree with one another and avoid a heated argument if disagreements are handled respectfully.
Always be open and honest with your partner
Being open and honest with one another creates greater emotional intimacy and closeness. Openness and honesty about our true feelings, even if they are uncomfortable, will pave the way for greater depth, trust and understanding between you. It is important to be honest with your partner about how you feel. If one or both partners are not honest with one another, true intimacy will not exist and there will be emotional distance in the relationship.
This includes being open and honest about what you want and need from a partner. Directly and assertively stating your needs is critical to getting your needs met in a relationship and to feeling happy and satisfied in the relationship. This means becoming honest with yourself about what you need and want from a partner.
If there is something missing that you need, or something that they are not doing that you would prefer they do, only by communicating openly and honestly about it will you will able to get what you need to feel satisfied and happy.
Openly discussing your needs in an honest manner also contributes to greater emotional intimacy and closeness. And when our partner shows that he/she respects our needs and will do whatever they can to accommodate, then that shows true love, devotion and caring, contributing to greater relationship satisfaction.
Share yourself with your partner
How to communicate in a relationship effectively also involves sharing yourself with your partner, and not closing yourself off. Discuss the details of your day, discuss your frustrations or upset feelings with your partner. Bring your partner into your life to establish greater closeness and intimacy. Be open about your anxieties, fears, dreams or wishes. Share what is going on with you.
It is easy to get caught up in the business of life and to neglect sharing together. But sharing is one of the greatest beauties and benefits of a partnership. Be best friends, and be a good friend to your partner. Be a support to your partner, and allow your partner to be a support for you.
Doing so will also contribute to greater happiness and long-lasting satisfaction within a relationship. So develop a strong friendship with your partner and communicate with them about yourself and your life and vice versa.
Good communication is an important relationship skill that anyone can develop, but it can take some practice and fine tuning. Keep working at it and you will get there. And it does take some effort and work, but is well worth the effort to have a happy and satisfying relationship.
So there are some tips on how to communicate effectively in a relationship. Here’s to your relationship and to your happiness!