Effective communication in relationships isn’t easy to come by. A lack of communication is a very common barrier to a lot of relationships. I think part of the problem, honestly, is that people don’t know how to talk about their feelings. It’s difficult, so they make fun of it, and that influences a lot of other people to do the same.
Effective communication in relationships isn’t about sitting down every night and having a heart-felt talk about your feelings with your significant other. It’s about respect and participation.
What does it mean to have effective communication in your relationship(s)?
Having effective communication in your relationship(s) means that you have the freedom to engage in conversation with your partner that is specifically about your dynamic. At its core, effective communication in relationships is really about respect. That means paying attention to your partner when they speak, really listening, and taking away what you can from different conversations.
Effective communication in relationships can be as simple as being comfortable enough to say “Hey, I don’t like when you leave your dirty clothes on the floor.” The takeaway for the one receiving the message being that you shouldn’t leave dirty clothes on the floor because it’s not hygienic, but also because it’s frustrating your partner. Maybe not the best example but there’s more coming..
Why does having effective communication in your relationships matter?
Communicating in this way allows a couple to progress and grow together. Furthermore, it helps the couple to stay on the same page, which really strengthens and enhances the relationship. Having an open line of communication in your relationship allows two people to grow closer together, improve trust, and improve the relationship as a whole. Honestly, when you communicate well with your significant other, there’s actually just less bullshit in the relationship.
Having effective communication in relationships matters because it deals with the very core or foundation of the relationship. Communication is arguably the most crucial component of being in a relationship – You’re choosing to spend your time with this other human being, but you also have to understand that you are two different human beings that won’t be able to read each other’s minds.
Sure, there are parts of the relationship you’ll end up knowing like the back of your hand, but communication is a component that is changing daily. Your thoughts, feelings, even attitudes can change on a regular basis. It’s important to understand if or when you need to express these feelings to your significant other.
How do I bring effective communication into my relationship?
- Respect & Participation – Make sure that you are treating your partner with the same respect that you would want from them, and vice versa – make sure your partner is treating you with the same respect that you show them. Participate in conversation, actively pay attention, and give your input when appropriate.
- Stop Yelling – Yelling is not communicating. Raising your voice at your significant other not only makes the situation worse, but it makes people feel attacked. When people feel attacked, they shut down, and thus, they don’t communicate.
- Don’t Bottle Things Up – Deal with it as it comes along. When you shut down and say nothing is wrong or “it doesn’t matter,” you’re only making the situation worse. These feelings will just build until you reach a breaking point. It’s okay to say “I honestly don’t know, I’m not ready to talk about it yet.” When your partner doesn’t know what you’re feeling and they are asking the clarifying questions, it’s up to you to meet them halfway – because they’re doing their part.
What do I need to know about effective communication in relationships?
Effective communication in relationships requires complete participation from both parties. Having said that, it’s also important that both parties actually want it for themselves. A common example is a female who wants her boyfriend to open up more in the relationship. A lot of times, unless he wants to do that, it’s not going to happen. You can help him work toward it, but men can really be discouraged from talking about what they’re feeling.
This brings me to my next point, talking about your feelings is not weak. Society today seems to portray feelings as a sign of weakness. That’s really not the case. It’s important to understand that a lot of people just really aren’t able to talk about what they’re feeling. They’re scared to take the time to put it into words, so it’s easier to just call it stupid or weak. I believe that a lot of people just aren’t able to form the words because they won’t take the time, but I think it’s important to know how to do. You don’t have to love opening up, but you should still be able to do it.
What are some examples of effective communication in relationships?
Here are some common examples for effective communication in relationships:
- Asking your partner to see a situation from your perspective or point-of-view
- Ex – Put yourself in my shoes for a second…
- Ex – I don’t like when you do X, what if I did that?
- Communicating that you do or don’t like something
- Ex – Please pick up your dirty clothes
- Ex – I don’t feel comfortable with…
- Ex – I like when…
- Don’t go to bed angry
- Calmly discuss the problem and reach a resolution
- Don’t prolong the argument until the next morning, you’ll just start the next day poorly
- Putting down your phone when talking to your partner
- Enjoying a meal without distractions
- Working together when it comes to housework
- One person can cook dinner and one can do the dishes
- One person can wash & dry the clothes and the other can fold them and put them away
- One person can mow the lawn while the other vacuums the house
As you can see, effective communication in relationships might be talking about your feelings, but it also might just be communicating with your partner so that the two of you make a better team. Effective communication really can change a relationship, and it’s as simple as taking the time to listen to both yourself and your partner.