In any interpersonal relationship, good communication is a crucial aspect to ensure that it will be long-term. However, it is not easy to maintain a good conversation, most especially if there's a problem involved.
While your superego says you need to listen and respond appropriately, your ego tends to draw you away talking about your feelings. Counseling services, like TG Psychology, believes that successful relationships always try to find ways to resolve things positively through proper communication.
That's why in this post, you'll learn the simple yet effective ways to help you communicate better with your partner, which is listed below:
1. Always start and end a conversation with a positive statement.
Positive scripting is an effective communication strategy in quality control or a coaching session in a workplace. It shows respect and highlights a person's good qualities and behaviors.
This strategy is also applicable to interpersonal relationships. Do not bombard your partner with negative words because it will just ignite a heated conversation.
Compared are the following negative and positive statements:
- Negative Statement: You used to be sweet and loving, but you seem so busy and can't even attend our son's school activity.
Positive Statement: I've known you like a sweet and loving person from the start. That's why I want you to be part of our son's extracurricular activity to show out support for him.
- Negative Statement:: You always cook delicious food with different spices and great variety, but it seems that you don't have skills in budgeting.
Positive Statement: I like your cooking skills because I get to eat delicious food every time. That's why I'm excited to talk to you about some ways where we can save on our food expenses by cooking budget-friendly recipes.
2. Listen and respond appropriately.
Active listening is acknowledging that you understood what your partner said. A nod or saying “uh-huh” is not enough. You have to express what you think and feel.
Everybody wants to be understood, not just to be heard. Here are some examples of statements that show active listening and appropriate responses.
- Yes, I get it when you say that you want us to set a weekly budget to save money for our son's college education.
- If I got you correctly, you want us to check if we can reduce our grocery expenses by cutting down on some ingredients I use when cooking.
- I understand how hard it is to budget nowadays. Can we explore some options together? What are your suggestions?
3. Never make assumptions.
Ask the right questions and never make any assumptions. Don't think in advance for something that did not happen yet.
For instance, if your partner came home late, don't think he went out with friends right away. Don't hesitate to ask why your husband came home late casually. Ask questions in a non-sarcastic and non-judgemental tone.
4. Make a deal.
In a business, a signed contract is valuable in a successful business relationship because it contains every term and condition that each party needs to abide. When it comes to marriage or any form of interpersonal relationship, you can also make a deal verbally.
It will help both of you set boundaries and acknowledge consequences. You don't necessarily need to put it in writing, record it, or have a witness to seal it. Let your trust and love seal your promise.
Here are some examples of verbal deals that you can make together:
- You let your partner hang out with his friends every Friday night, but Saturday and Sunday are intended for family bonding.
- If a minor quarrel arises, you won't allow the night to pass by without talking things over.
- If you feel like you need to burst out a strong emotion, you both have to agree that you should do it inside your room and not in front of your children.
5. Show genuine interest through small details.
You don't always have to talk about yourselves, such as your finances, career, or plans.
According to Harry Stack Sullivan, gathering information about a person's life is paramount to know who the person is. He proposed the “detailed inquiry” approach used by therapists to improve communication because tiny details can make a big difference in a relationship.
Here are some examples:
- Small talks can improve emotional ties as compared to “deep feelings” discussion.
- Making a grocery list or weekly menu together is an excellent way to share time and space which also shows love and affection.
- Talk about the insignificant moments in your day. These moments make up the reality and tend to broaden your knowledge and understand about your partner's character.
You can develop strategies together as a couple which is unique for you. The best communication strategies rely on your awareness and understanding of each other's feelings, thoughts, and body cues.
Whatever you choose, always respond positively with politeness, respect, and kindness. Besides, you're communicating with one of the most special people in your life.
Published by Elena Tahora