It’s no new fact that communication is one of the essential components of a successful relationship. Having a healthy communication in a relationship can increase the life span of the relationship and also keep the love burning— many of you already know this. However, the major issue seems to be how to improve communication in a relationship.
Before we talk about that, let’s understand the difference between healthy communication in a relationship and bad communication.
Healthy Communication in a Relationship and Its Benefits
Healthy communication is all about transparency, sharing information, ideas, expressing feelings & opinions, and other sensitive matters constantly and timely. In good or bad times, your partner is the first person you want to talk to. The first one you call to share that news with whether big or small.
Do you know that when there is a healthy flow of communication in a relationship, it helps to strengthen the bond? It also improves trust in a relationship. “I know she didn’t do it. If she did, she would have told me”
A healthy communication helps you understand your partner better. You know his/her moods, you interpret their body language accurately, predict their reactions, and truly connect with them. It makes a relationship stronger.
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Bad Communication in a relationship and Its Side Effects
This is the opposite of healthy communication. It’s the withholding of information from your partner. It starts with one little information. Maybe your ex just came back and wants to reconnect. You keep this from your partner, ” It isn’t important, he/she doesn’t need to know” . Somewhere along the line, your partner finds out. It instantly leaves room for questioning in their minds. The first thing they think about — “Could it be that he/she still has feelings for the ex?”
To you, that information is trivial. To your partner, it may not be. Once you start sorting out the information you consider as trivial, it becomes a habit and extends to vital information. Slowly, it worsens with time to the point where it starts affecting your relationship. Talk to your partner; trivial or not trivial, still tell them. They’ll be the ones to decide what is important to them and what’s not.
Another case of bad communication is what I call the “third party invitation”. This happens when you invite third parties; friends, family, colleagues, to talk to your partner over an issue both of you are having, instead of directly talking to your partner and resolving the issue. This sets a bad precedent because in the future when they give you unsolicited advice about your relationship, you can’t tell them to mind their business because you made it everyone’s business.
Ways to Improve Communication in Your Relationship
Now we know the importance of healthy communication in a relationship, let’s look at ways we can improve communication in your relationship.
1. Your partner should know where you are at all times
This is really simple but we often neglect it. A simple phone call or text saying “Hey Hun, I’ll be late. I’m hanging out with some pals from work” or “I just landed, leaving the airport now”. By doing this, it reassures your partner of your current location and prevents any misunderstanding on where you are. It also helps to boost your partner’s confidence that you care enough to tell them.
Another benefit of this is that they can totally defend you in case anything happens or they are given wrong information about you.
2. At the end of the day, find time to discuss the activities that happened on that day
This might be a problem for those who have stressful days. But this is still very important. Make it a habit to ask each other about how the day was; Was it a typical day for you? Did something unexpected happen? etc. It’s important to discuss this because having this discussion is one of the easiest way to bond. It helps you to develop the habit of talking to him/her about the smallest things,then to the big ones over time.
3. Always communicate “I love you” to your partner.
Notice how I didn’t say “Always say I Love You to your partner”. This is because to some people, saying “I love you” doesn’t assure them that you really do. I strongly suggest you read The 5 Languages of Love if you haven’t read it before.
Communicating “I Love You” to your partner, goes beyond just saying those words. Everyone has a particular way in which they feel loved. Communicating your love to them through that way will make a great impact on your relationship.
4. In times of argument, try to make your point as clear as possible without being rude
Most times, in the heat of the argument, we might let our temper get the best of us and come off as rude. Also in arguments, we might be saying the same thing but due to the heat of the moment, we may not realize it.
In order to avoid this type of argument, it is advisable to always make your point as clear as possible without being rude.
5. Check up on your partner frequently during the day
This is another effective way on how to improve communication in your relationship. You don’t have to wait for them to call you first or count the number of times you’ve called. It’s not a call competition. If you have the means to call, call.
Notice how I didn’t say “if you have the chance to call”. This is because no matter how busy your are, if you really love someone, you can create a little time for them even if it’s just a text asking them how they are or how their day is going.
This shows that you care and also tells your partner that you are missing them. It also ensures they never forget you,“Crazy right?” . Remember— how you treat someone is a reflection of your interest in them.
6. Your partner should be the first person you tell any major news in your life
You just got a promotion. You are so happy and you pick up the phone to share the news with someone. Who do you call first?
The first person you think about calling when you have a major news should be your partner. I believe many of us already do this because, when you truly love someone, they become your safety dial-in times of trouble and also your number one in times of good news.
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7. Listen! Listen! Listen!
Every relationship counselor will ask you to listen and not just hear. Well, they are very correct. One of the main reasons we go into a relationship is because we need a companion. And one of the duties of a companion is to listen. When our partner is talking, especially about their problems, allow them to vent it all out. Do not try to interrupt them. Even if you think you know the solution or you want to motivate them, allow them to pour out their hearts first. Because most times it’s not the solution they are longing for, it’s just a chance to be heard.
This applies to arguments too. When arguing, don’t just dominate to feel like the winner of the argument. In this, there’s no winner. Listen to them, then tell them how you feel or what you think.
This might be a lot to take in or practice but I challenge you to start practicing them today. You will notice a GREAT improvement in communication in your relationship.
It usually works best if a couple practice together so it won’t be a one-sided effort. Therefore, tell your partner about these steps or share this post with them. Thanks for reading!