Communication can be a really tough thing, especially if it is with someone that you have been in a relationship with for a long time. People tend to get comfortable with each other and when that happens the levels of communication may start to decrease because you “know each other so well”.
I’ve been with my wife for 7 years (married for a little over 2 years) and we have had issues that every couple has had; assuming that each other knows something, miscommunication, lack of communication, and not taking time for communication. We fell into a comfortable routine in our life, and when that happened, our communication started to suffer.
So, don’t let comfortableness fool you; there is still communication issues that will come up if you don’t keep yourself open and honest and make an effort to communicate with your partner. Follow these simple tips to make sure that your communication in relationships is top notch.
You have heard the old saying, “Assuming makes an ‘ass’ out of ‘u’ and ‘me’”. Yes, it’s cheeky and kind of stupid, but it’s very true. It’s important in your relationship to not assume something unless it has been clearly laid out in some form of communication.
For instance, it’s assumed that I will take out the garbage every Tuesday night (oops, need to get on that), but only because my wife and I have a verbal contract that says so. If I don’t take out the garbage, then it is my fault. If there were no contract, the blame couldn’t really be passed to anyone. Sounds technical, but it happens all the time.
So, don’t assume, unless it has been laid out in a concrete way with your partner.
2. Say what you mean
If you have something to say in your relationship, then say it clearly and concisely. It’s important to tell the other person exactly what you mean, because if you don’t, they will create in their heads what they think you mean. And that is never a good situation to be in.
Just take some time to say what you mean, don’t rush your thoughts, and clarify your point if necessary.
3. Don’t shut up
If you have something to say, then say it. Don’t keep things bottled up inside, especially when something in the relationship is bothering you. Also, if you have something good to say about your partner, say it loud and often. People may not necessarily like to hear the truth all the time, but it’s an important communication skill to let the other person in the relationship know where you are at.
4. Think about her before yourself
“It’s all about me”. Yeah, that doesn’t work so well in a relationship.
While you shouldn’t let one side of the relationship have all the attention, it’s important to to let your other half have some attention before you get some. This shows that you actually care what they are doing in their lives and that you are interested in them.
Plus practicing a little selflessness every day can only make you a more sincere and empathetic person.
5. Don’t discourage conversation about feelings
Guys may be apprehensive about sharing what they feel at any given time (OK, anyone may be apprehensive), but if you really want to kick your communication into high gear share what your feelings are about the situtations that are going on in your life.
When I have shared what I truly felt with my wife, she was amazed and felt much more connected to me (and I with her). Talking about feelings sounds cliche, but don’t disregard it; it is important and it works.
6. Make communication time
At least once a day set aside some time to open the lines of communication with your partner. Basically shut down all the gizmos and just have a conversation. It may feel weird and somewhat uncomfortable at first, but the quality of the conversation will get better and better as time goes on.
Also, you will end up learning a bunch of things you never knew about your partner (yes, even after many years of being with them).
7. Make non-communication time
On the opposite side of this, make sure that you have scheduled time for not communicating. In other words, schedule a little “me time” every single day. This is great for introspection and reflection on your life and current situation. You can process feelings, worries, thoughts, etc. by yourself and then bring them to your partner during your own communication times.
Sometimes we need a little quiet to understand what is going on with us on the inside.
Communication is the most important thing in my marriage and many others. Don’t take it for granted and make sure to spend some serious time working on communication by following the tips above. Your relationships will only benefit from them.
(Photo credit: Problems via Shutterstock)