Effective communication is a must for healthy relationships. Let’s talk about the best ways to communicate with your partner.
Whether you are dating or in a long-term relationship, conflict in relationships is inevitable. Some couples may believe that avoiding difficult conversations to avoid an argument is the best route for a happy relationship, but the truth is, difficult discussions are needed for a healthy relationship. If you are not arguing, it is likely that you are not communicating.
What To Do?
- Be authentic: In dating and relationships, be honest about who you are. Be true to yourself. Don’t filter out information, tell lies or pretend to be who you think the other person wants you to be. Value your authenticity more than your image. Your partner should know your deepest truths, even if the truth may lead to a difficult conversation.
- Have healthy boundaries: Having healthy boundaries means you have a balanced give and take in relationships, and as conflicts arise, you are able to calmly discuss your needs and wishes. Focus on using the verbs “need,” “feel,” and “want” when you are communicating with your partner. Using these words will help you stay focused on what you’re trying to achieve instead of honing in on your partner’s shortcomings, which could lead to both parties becoming hurt.
- Practice emotional vulnerability: Emotional safety makes vulnerability possible in relationships. Without it, it’s hard to connect authentically. Without it, it’s hard to relax and trust. So choose someone who feels emotionally safe – someone who is good to you and good for you. Trust is a must in healthy relationships.
- Don’t pass blame: Make sure that you are calm when you are expressing your needs. If you are on the verge of flooding, you may come off as judgmental or angry which can turn the conversation into a blame-game or argument. Your goal in a partnership should be to work together to solve the problem, not blame one another for the problem existing.
- Be specific with your feelings: Being precise about what you’re feeling or bothered by will lead to more clarity and less room for misinterpretation. When things are misinterpreted, it could lead to repeated conversations that make you and your partner feel like progress is not being made. All needs and feelings are valid in a relationship. Even though your needs may differ from your partner’s, they are still important and essential for your well-being.
For Information and Support
Dealing with conflict in relationships is a must. Ignoring your problems and keeping them inside will only lead to resentment down the road. Once resentment builds, it may be very difficult for you and your partner to practice healthy communication. This does not, however, mean your relationship is doomed. Dating therapy, conflict therapy, and couples therapy can all be very beneficial to address conflict in relationships. Resources: Gottman Institute Article: https://www.gottman.com/blog/relationships-not-arguing-means-youre-not-communicating/