Communication is essential for any relationship to flourish but it is especially important when it comes to couples. So why are so many couples struggling to communicate effectively and how can we start to resolve the issue in the New Year?
In this article, we look at what good communication looks like, how to breed a joint mindset for strong communication in your relationship and the benefits of doing so. Let your New Year with your partner start on a positive journey to move your relationship to the next level. Doing so will allow you to enjoy an amazing future with eachother full of new experiences, laughs, romance, happiness, and joy.
All too often in our relationships very important feelings, thoughts and ideas go unsaid through fear of being vulnerable with our partner. If you can’t be vulnerable with the one you love then who can you open up with?
The first task for clearer communication is to allow yourself to be vulnerable. This does not mean losing power, it means becoming empowered through open and honest sharing of information.
You can start this process simply by speaking more to eachother about how you feel. If you feel you need more physical contact, tell your partner you want this. If you want to hold them accountable for their lack of exercise, tell them and explain why. If you are struggling professionally in your job, open up to them about your concerns.
When things go unsaid partners become repressed in their emotions, they can start to feel isolated, lonely, and sad as they have no one to open up to. It’s important to clearly communicate how you feel.
Here are some tips to help communicate with your partner more effectively:
- Think deeply about what you want to say before you say it.
- Set aside a time to talk with no interruptions (phones and TV off!).
- Talk clearly and always explain why you are saying what you are saying.
- Take your time, breath deep and try to stay composed.
- Talk about what you want or need using “I want” and “I need”, don’t beat around the bush.
- Accept responsibility for your own feelings, remove any resentment, anger or aggression towards your partner before talking.
The famous spiritual leader, Thich Nhat Thanh, once said “You listen not for the purpose of judging, criticizing or analyzing. You listen only to help the other person to express himself and find some relief from his suffering.”
This is called compassionate listening and it is essential for both partners to practice in order to build better communication between yourselves. In a world full of distraction, take the time to start truly listening to eachother.
Set specific times in the day or week to sit down and listen to eachother properly. When we truly listen to our partners we learn so much about their concerns, issues, needs, wants and desires. This knowledge helps us to be a better partner and build a stronger relationship.
Here are some tips to help you practice compassionate listening:
- Make sure there are no interruptions and give your undivided attention to your partner.
- Wait for them to speak and resist butting in or cutting them off.
- Wait for them to finish what they need to say before responding.
- Listen carefully to the words they use to help pick up how they are feeling.
- Ensure your body language is relaxed, with no crossed arms or heavy sighs.
- Put aside your own thoughts, only respond if you think you need to. Sometimes people just need to be heard and don’t require a solution or advice.
Why Improve Your Communication?
It’s important to remember that improving communication between a couple is a long process and can be hard work. This is why many couples fail to communicate properly because of the effort and time required to achieve it.
It’s therefore important to understand why we need good communication in our relationship in the first place. The benefits of improved communication are endless but most importantly they can create a relationship based on joy and honesty, they are ways for couples to relax within their relationship, feel comfortable, supported and ultimately help form a stronger partnership.
- Companionship – Sharing your experiences, concerns, and interests builds trust and appreciation of each other. Gratitude for your partner is a powerful emotion.
- Intimacy – This isn’t just sexual! Intimacy is about being comfortable with one another, being open, being honest and allowing yourselves to be vulnerable with one another. This leads to happiness, comfort, and joy in the relationship. It can be as simple as making them lunch for work or giving them a small neck rub while enjoying your favorite TV show.
- Success – Not in terms of money (although this is also possible) but happiness, joy, gratitude, and purpose. When two people form and strong partnership based on clear and honest communication they become an unstoppable force. Your thoughts, ideas, and dreams can be achieved with the help and support of eachother.
Remember, not everyone will be as open and ready to start the journey of clearer communication. Personal issues such as anxieties, vulnerability, and fear of shame can make the process slow and arduous. It’s important to be patient with each other and allow yourselves to improve together in your own time without judgment. Support eachother on this journey and you will reap the benefits for the rest of your lives.