While we all know what communication is, or at least have an idea of what we think it is, I believe it is important to start with the definition first. According to dictionary.com communication is:
“the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs.”
Now let’s soak that in for a moment… the definition alone outlines that there are different communication methods, and that, is an important take away because let’s be honest, everyone has a different communication style. Learning how to effectively communicate with your partner can take time, effort and of course some trial and error. However, it is important to master this skill, as effective communication is one of the keys to a great and long lasting relationship. Without it not only do you leave your partner in the dark but you allow things to fester and build up which can unfortunately lead to problems. My advice is to take the time to find out the best way to communicate with your partner. If you are lost, don’t be afraid to ask how they prefer that you communicate important matters with them.
Like there are keys or fundamentals to a successful relationship, I believe there are also keys to good communication, these being:
First and foremost I think it is important to be honest with each other, as the saying goes, “honesty is the best policy.” If you are not honest about your feelings and what is on your mind, how do you expect your partner to understand what is going on and how to address it. Don’t let things fester, deal with the here and now so you don’t have to come back to it at a later time.
Pick your Battles
While being honest is something you should always be, it is also important to pick your battles. Are the dishes in the sink really worth talking about? Maybe they are, but chose wisely, determine what is an important discussion and what can be tabled.
Be Present and Listen
Just as you want your partner to listen to you when you are communicating with them, you need to be present and listen when they are communicating with you. Put your phone down, turn off the TV, whatever it may be and let them know you care about what they are communicating and they are your priority in that moment.
Fights are inevitable, every couple argues. What’s important is that your fight fair. Don’t let your anger and frustration get the best of you. Never call each other names or go for low blows. Words are something that you can never take back.
Come to a Conclusion
If your discussion ends in an argument, settle it. Don’t leave the problem unresolved to be brought up at a later date. Letting problems fester only causes more problems. If you can’t find a common ground, don’t hesitate to say something along the lines of, “I don’t agree with your point of view, but I love you and I care about how this makes you feel, let’s agree to disagree and move on.”
Feel free to leave your tips in the comments!