from your RAFT Counseling Team
Here are three realistic tips to help couples communicate better.
Communication is a two-way street. It’s also a skill which means it can always get better. The more you communicate with your partner, the better your communication will be.
Don’t take over every conversation. On the other hand, make sure you’re not just sitting there not getting a word in either. With communication, you want to try to have a good balance between talking and listening. As a couple, you and your partner are coming together as one. It’s a 50/50 split. That means that you need both of you to listen and learn from each other to make the relationship work the best it can.
When you’re communicating with your partner, make a conscious effort to pay attention to the words that you’re using. Are you grouping each other together and using words like “we” and “us”? Or are you saying things like “I”, “me”, or “you”.
Words can be mistaken within seconds. A conversation can turn sour quickly if you’re using the wrong verbiage or tone. Make an effort to speak clearly and directly to one another, especially if you’re dealing with a sensitive topic. Try not to play the blame game. And make sure you’re not taking over the entire conversation and not letting your partner have a say either.
It takes two people to tango. You’re in this partnership together. Make sure you’re both communicating effectively.
Don’t expect your partner to be able to read your mind. They also shouldn’t be expecting you to read their mind. As much as we want to be able to reach someone’s mind, we shouldn’t be expected to do that.
Sure, there are times when you may be able to pick up on some of your partner’s nonverbal cues. Their body language and facial expressions could be a good indicator of how they’re really feeling, but you know what they say about assuming…
If you’re not sure how your partner is feeling, ask them. The same goes for your wants and needs. If you want your partner to do something or if you need something from them, ask them! It’s not healthy to hold on to things.
Be open, honest, and direct with one another. Make an effort to better understand one another, and practice patience along the way!
Communication isn’t just about asking how each other’s days went. It’s about spending time each and every day to continue to get to know and learn more about one another.
Instead of asking yes or no questions or questions that are bound to give a short answer, aim to ask open-ended questions. Here are some examples of open-ended questions to ask:
The more time you spend getting to know your partner, the more open and honest they’ll be with you. Give your partner the necessary time and space to open up. Think about how your relationship first started. You both worked towards getting to know one another, talking, listening, and growing together. With a little bit of time, you’ll get back to that great communication again.