It is common to feel unheard and invisible in a relationship. We have either been the one to cause the feeling or the one that is on the receiving end of it. Normally, the culprit of this awful feeling is the lack of communication. So how to communicate with your partner in a manner that is effective and healthy for your relationship?
On one hand, there is dry, bad, and meaningless communication, and then there is the type that heals both of you in the relationship. Would you rather feel the contentment or just watch the relationship faze out, as a result of something we could change?
What Is Communication?
Communication in its literal sense is the transferring of information from one point to the other. In the relationship context, we are conveying our emotions, experiences, and our needs. Unfortunately, the transfer is not as easy as it sounds. Words have the power to change the course of any relationship. It can start endless arguments or it can bloom hope and love.
Without communication, we cannot experience an intimate bond between one another. This goes for all forms of relationships. Familial, friendships, sexual, and even professional relationships. How many businesses have we seen crash to the ground because they did not know how to communicate with their partner? Probably just as many failed relationships we have seen around us.
Good Communication With Your Partner
Untangling toxic and unhealthy communicative behavior takes time. Believe it or not, a hundred percent of us are liable for one or more forms of bad communication. This can happen as a result of our upbringing and perspective. We grew up thinking that our way is the right way and the only way.
As life takes a hectic toll, we forget to revisit the importance of being an effective communicator. With mutual understanding, there are so many simple exercises and practices that fix bad communication. Here are some things both you and your partner can do to start communicating more meaningfully.
Practice Active Listening
When your partner is talking it is important to listen. We do not mean just act like we are listening and giving them a dry “yes” at the end of the conversation. Active listening involves not only listening but also understanding what they are conveying. When you actively listen, you engage in a conversation with your partner. It does not matter if he or she is telling you about the most mundane activity, if they talk, we listen. Actively.
Control The Negativity
Do you hear yourself constantly criticizing your partner and assuming the worst even before starting up the conversation? Are you still complaining about an issue that happened weeks ago, rather than calmly communicating? Negativity in your tone can be extremely hard to listen to. It can feel like we are being nagged, constrained, and held back. Constant negativity and complaining can lead to a lack of conflict resolution and a lack of authenticity between the partners.
Space Over Impulsiveness
As humans, we jump a little too quickly. We demand a reaction. A reaction that immediately fulfills our needs and wants. But as complex creatures, we fail to give the other person what they need as they need it. Sometimes we need space to process, compartmentalize and reflect. Giving each other space can lead to having more meaningful talks, a chance to reenergize, and regulate our emotions.
Connecting Through Experiences
Communication is always more about the action than the words. If you have more shared experiences together, there is more to talk about and more to relate to one another. The shared laughs increase and you can feel the wavelength of one another becoming the same. The shared experiences do not always have to be something fancy like a trip to Greece, but it can be as simple as washing the dishes, taking a walk around the city, and folding the laundry together. Between these experiences, you are sharing facial expressions, loving tones, and more expressions.
There is so much to communication than just strings of dry “I love you” and “good night”. It’s easy to say the words, but it’s not healthy unless we put intention and meaning towards it. When learning how to communicate with your partner, acquire mutual empathy and develop new ways to express emotions.
Lashing out in anger does nothing but diminish the unity in the relationship. So instead of jumping to your passive-aggressive tendencies, start engaging, drop down the negativity, leave your inner critic and become someone who encourages communication with the other.
Featured Image Origin: Petras Gagilas | Flickr
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