Communication is an act of transferring information from one person to another, one place to another, or one group to another. It usually involves a sender, a message which could be verbal or non-verbal, and a receiver.
Transferring the right information, especially in relationships can be affected by a whole lot of factors and when the message sent is misinterpreted by the receiver it brings about misunderstandings which in turn deteriorates relationships.
Communication In Relationships
Communication is the bedrock of every relationship, we need to talk openly, listen carefully and be able to relate to each others’ needs physically, emotionally, and mentally and have a healthy relationship or rather a partnership.
No matter how much we think we know our partner, we can’t read their minds and sometimes may not even be so sure of how they would react in a given situation or circumstance.
When we fail to communicate with our partner either verbally or non-verbally, we create room for misunderstandings, which will most times result in anger, hurt, confusion, and even in some extreme cases resentment, and this takes the relationship on a journey of pain and disintegration.
When we fail to understand each other, especially in a relationship makes us take decisions or act in ways that can jeopardize our relationships or put us in precarious situations that could be beyond repair leading to regrets.
It takes two to tangle (to have a relationship) and each person in his or her own uniqueness has different ways, languages, and styles of communicating our various needs to others. To have a healthy relationship we need to invest our time and energy. In a nutshell, to have a healthy relationship is hard work and practice.
You may not have perfect communication skills, but not trying at all is not advisable. It may surprise you to know that there is really no perfect way to communicate or express ourselves because no two individuals are the same and we don’t have the same mindset or have a specific way we all react to a particular or different situation.
As we come to the knowledge of our differences and our uniqueness as well, we should be able to accommodate each other and relate with them in ways they would understand and we also relate with them in ways that they would not misinterpret our actions or feel insecure with us around them.
Whenever we communicate with our partner, we should be straightforward and clear so that the message received would not be processed wrongly and misunderstood.
Always note that if we must have a healthy relationship, we should be clear about what we want to communicate; set aside time to talk without distractions from others or mobile or electrical devices. We should also think before we talk so our words don’t hurt our partner. Talk about what is happening, how it affects you, how you can improve and if there is any issue sort it out amicably.
Be open to expressing yourself in what you need; what you want and how you feel, but also as you state yours be considerate in your demands, your partner has feelings too. Be open to accepting responsibility for your feelings, be a good listener, don’t think just listen, be aware of your tone of voice, and finally know that it is not about you alone or being right all the time, let things go, and agree to disagree.
Without communication, there can’t be relationships and there are a whole lot of ways to improve communication in relationships but I would show you only 8 ways.
8 Ways To Improve Communication In Your Relationships
1. Never assume, Ask.
Sameera Sullivan said “Assumptions and mind-reading usually lead to misunderstandings and hurt feelings.” never assume you know what is in the mind of the other person, reach out instead because assuming “something” in your mind can be totally different from what was intended by the other person.
The person’s thought may have no connection with reality and the person that assumes thinks it’s true and brings to the stage a huge misunderstanding. The assumption is toxic to your relationship it can destroy a healthy relationship. Basically, an assumption is something that you believe you don’t have proof of.
For instance, believing that your partner cheated on you, believing you are not appreciated in the relationship, believing that your partner knows what is in your thoughts and should act in response to it, and lots more. Never assume, you may never know what is happening on the other side. Always ask.
2. Say the right words.
Kind and compelling words during conversations are very essential, especially in a romantic relationship. Be open, kind, and Assertive, do not use words or accusations that tell your partner how awful he is. Don’t let your partner feel by your words that you don’t acknowledge their feelings.
Always remember how you say something is as important as what you say. Even in an argument, choose your words rightly.
3. Create quality time for each other.
Partners in relationships need quality time together in other for the relationship to blossom and develop. Quality time is all about expressing your love and affection for each other without undivided attention. Playing together brings you and your partner closer to each other.
It strengthens bonds and makes you both understand your differences and marry them together. The closer you are the more likely you are to share your thoughts, secrets, and feelings without any fear or doubt. Discover a common hubby and maximize it, go out on dates, to dinner outings, for picnics, to the cinema, and lots more. The more fun you catch up together, the more you will communicate.
4. Avoid deception, Be open
Without trust and honesty, there can’t be healthy communication. Be open, speak up when you are hurting, or disagree with your partner but not in a harsh way.
Pretending to be happy is poisonous to your relationship, it will only keep drifting you away to a crumbled relationship. Being honest will help you and your partner solve problems more efficiently. Say what you mean, mean what you say, and make your feeling and needs clear.
Walking away from an argument should be a way for a brief cooling-down period and not a way to deal with an ongoing conflict or communication issue. It could be safe and comfortable but it will never help you learn how to communicate better.
Always being flexible with each other, lack of trust, and insecurity in our relationship drives us to behave in ways that are clingy, needy, possessive and controlling and these attitudes break down our relationships.
5. Always Let things go
Remember that your goal for being in a relationship is to build intimacy, strengthen your relationship and learn how to communicate better, Therefore, let the past go, don’t keep records of wrongs, forgive.
We are humans; we all have flaws, when you keep visiting the past, it keeps you in the past and makes the future of that relationship a mirage. We make mistakes, we cannot change the past and the future holds better things therefore, focus on the now and here of your relationship. The present is beautiful, maximize it.
6. Recognize your communication technique
Communication techniques influence our decisions, behaviors, actions, and interactions with others and determine how we respond to them therefore we need to understand ourselves and understand others which would help us to relate and connect well with others.
While we are in the business of working on how to improve communication in relationships, we must understand that as we are different and unique so also is the way we communicate. For instance, there are some people who find it difficult to use the word ‘No’ even if it is to their own detriment, they prefer to keep their emotions bottled inside and never let it out no matter what the situation or the outcome might be.
This set of individuals is passive communicators. Another set of people are the Aggressive-passive communicators, they are loud and intense but they avoid conflict and use sarcasm to deflect real communication. they use facial expressions that don’t match how they feel like smiling when they are angry.
They could feel powerless, stuck, and resentful. This set of people could have issues connecting with others.
Some individual let out all their emotions and opinions without caring about how others feel. They are usually physically or verbally abusive and sometimes both. They try to dominate others even in communication, criticize, blame or attack others and even act threateningly.
Some individuals clearly state their opinions and feelings and firmly advocate for their rights with the feeling of others in consideration. They respect other people’s feelings and have control over the way they express their emotions. These are Assertive communicators.
Communication and relationships are all different therefore we must be sensitive to acknowledge our partners needs and understand how they express it. While trying to understand your partner, watch how your partner responds to a different perception.
7. Always appreciate each other
An excellent way to improve communication in the relationship and build intimacy is to express gratitude for even the very little things that our partner does for us. It makes them feel good about what they do and that makes all the difference, makes them feel better about themselves, and gives them the drive to go on in the relationship. It shows that you value and care for their emotions, and the effort they put to make sure you are happy.
Appreciation can help bring out the greatness and potential of any relationship even if it is headed for a crash. When we appreciate each other we connect to our loving selves and expand and grow, it makes us want to share and not hide part of ourselves.
We may be lost sometimes in the “How” to show our appreciation apart from the conventional “thank you” here are a few tips for you:
Pay close attention to what your partner says to you like giving eye contact, showing that you are interested in sharing in the conversation, and not making them feel you are distracted and that could send a signal that you don’t place importance on what is said to you.
When appreciating your partner, be specific in what you are complimenting your partner for and don’t just say it but mean it. Make your partner know that you enjoy the time you spend together doing activities and catching fun together.
8. Have a positive mindset
No matter the situation of things in your relationship or the problems you might be encountering at the moment, don’t approach problems as though they are impossible to solve.
Have a positive attitude towards your relationship by not apportioning blame for any misunderstanding that might have occurred in the cause of communicating with each other. We all have flaws and there is room for improvement if we must advance in intimacy.
It is natural to notice and get offended by our partner’s behavior and excesses but we should not try and pick on our partner’s shortcomings or put forward a reaction that would make them feel less confident about themselves in the relationship.
Regardless of how the boat of your relationship is rocking at the moment, looking back at the fun times that you have had together in your relationship will only remind you of better days and also why you are with each other and how far you both have gone in sharing pleasant memories together. Always work hard to improve your emotional connection or the situation not withstanding.
How to improve communication in relationships requires practice. You have to put it to work to make it work. Mind your thoughts, your words are only a result of your thoughts, be careful of your emotions, they project your actions. Always try to understand and learn to communicate your emotions. Beware of how you decode or interpret a message, ensure that you understand vividly what the other person is trying to say.
Always listen more than talk, it improves communication, and when listening doesn’t think about what to say next and never judge what you hear. Always appreciating and complimenting each other boosts relationships.