2 Ways to Increase Healthier Communication in Your Relationship
When we feel we can’t communicate with our partner, it takes such a profound toll on the quality of our relationship, and builds frustration, anger, and oftentimes, hopelessness.
Maybe you find that you and your partner are good at communicating the everyday things, but profoundly struggle with sharing issues, wants, and needs. You might find, then, that you’re both longing to feel understood, heard, and respected by one another. You want to be heard and supported by each other. You want your communication, and your relationship in general, to be one defined by ease, positivity, and love.
Here, we’ll look at 2 ways to begin fostering healthier communication and that relationship you want and deserve:
Bring Up Concerns and Requests in a Gentle Way
It’s so easy for any of us to lose our cool when trying to address something that’s bothering us in our lives. When we try to do this in a relationship, it’s often that much harder. You might find this repeated pattern of being critical of your loved one when you attempt to talk about important things.
If you notice yourself falling into this negative form of communication, do your best to catch yourself. Instead of criticizing your partner, realize that approach is unlikely to lead to change and improvement, which is of course what you want. At that moment, replace the criticism with a kind and gentle start to your conversation.
So, instead of saying, “You never help,” you might say something like, “I feel stressed when I come home from work and I just want to unwind for a bit. Could you please take care of the chores during that time?”
When You’re Feeling Defensive, Take Some Responsibility
When we feel like our partner is verbally attacking us, we can get defensive. We can get so focused on defending ourselves in these moments that we can’t attend to our partner’s requests and progress towards a good solution.
Try to notice when you’re feeling defensive. Then, you have 2 options that can help steer the conversation in a much more productive and healthier direction.
You can either share with your loved one that you’re feeling defensive and request to hear their concern(s) in a different, kinder, and more appropriate way. Alternatively, you could try to look for even a small amount of truth in what your partner is saying and take ownership of it. So, you could say something along the lines of, “You have a good point.”
These are just a couple of critical ways you can begin to increase instances of healthy communication in your relationship, so you both consistently feel you are heard, respected, appropriately responded to, and loved.
I can help you learn and practice these and other incredibly helpful skills so you and your partner can increase your healthy communication, as well as your mutual love and connection, with a telehealth session through a HIPAA compliant video or phone session. Give me a call and we'll discuss how I can help. Jordan Zipkin, LMFT, at 954.391.5305.