How can you and your partner communicate better?

Communication is one of the basic and most important elements of any relationship. It can be difficult to keep healthy communication going if you have not seen each other due to the lockdown. While you and your partner may have different  communication styles, there’s no reason why both of you can’t improve. Here are simple tips to get you started even during the lockdown.

Listen more, Speak less

During a conversation (face to face or on chat), one person expresses what’s on their mind and the other person is expected to listen. However, when you and your partner insist on being heard all the time, that means none of you are listening. This often leads to misunderstanding and conflict. So next time you and your partner discuss an issue you are passionate about, try listening to what they have to say before getting your point across.

Be curious about your partner

It’s really nice when the attention is always on you, but remember that a relationship is not always about you and your feelings. A relationship involves two people. So make your partner feel heard and understood. Explore their views and opinions on the topics that you discuss together and acknowledge their feelings even when you don’t necessarily agree.

Choose your words before you reply

Empathy (the ability to put yourself in someone’s shoes) forms part of a healthy relationship.  While putting your point across is important, you need to do it in a way that helps your partner understand what you are trying to say without offending them. This means being able to put yourself in their shoes and tell the truth in a way that’s kind and considerate.

Be open and honest

Honesty builds trust in a relationship. This means that the more honest and open you are with your partner, the easier it will be for them to openly express their thoughts and opinions because they will trust that you won’t judge them based on their views. Even though you may only be communicating via text, it’s important to maintain a level of openness and honesty.

Discuss one thing at a time

During an argument, for example, you may be tempted to bring up a lot of past issues to support the point you are raising but this is usually a bad idea because it steers away from addressing the issue and hand. Rather focus on the problem you and your partner are faced with at that time.

Communicating effectively with your partner requires patience and effort. Don’t worry if you slip up from time to time. If you and your partner commit using this guideline, you should see improvements in the way you communicate with each other.

If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Messagea Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).