Some people take relationships as if they were a battlefield where what matters is being right and imposing one’s point of view. There are others who, on the contrary, base their dialogues with their partner on renouncing once and again to be able to express themselves, to the point of accepting by default that it is the opinions of that other person that count.
Of course, none of the above makes it easy for us to establish strong and stable emotional bonds. The existence of this type of tension makes it necessary to bet on communicating better in the couple’s relationship .
What to do to communicate better in a relationship
These tips on how to communicate better in a couple’s relationship give a general idea of what a healthy dialogue dynamic should look like in everyday life together.
1. Avoid hot arguments
The first step is simple and, although it does not make the ideas flow from one person to another, helps to prevent the communication problem from getting bigger . Basically, it is to start by avoiding trying to argue or dialogue if we are already in a very upset emotional state and have not yet gone through the steps we will see below.
In this way, we will be helping to reduce the chances of getting into highly unproductive verbal fights. When emotions control us completely and we adopt an antagonistic attitude, the result will hardly be positive.
2. Organize your ideas
When you detect an aspect in which your ideas and those of your partner are not in tune or collide head-on (creating a clear opposition), spend some time thinking about what exactly it is that generates the disagreement or confusion .
Distinguishing each of these ideas, interests, desires or beliefs and seeing how they differ from one another will help you to rank them in order of importance, prioritizing those that should be communicated with greater emphasis. In this way, it will be easier to create a “discourse” with a more coherent backbone that really reflects what we want to express.
3. Think about what your partner does not know
Many times we forget this point, and it is basic. Our partner is, by definition, another person, and therefore either knows the same thing as we do. That is why we must take into account these gaps in their level of knowledge and act accordingly; for example, by stopping to explain better something necessary to understand the main message we want to convey.
4. Find the right context to communicate what is important
Care in choosing the context in which to communicate something must be directly proportional to the importance of what you want to say. If you think the subject matter is too much to talk about, it makes sense not to start that conversation at a time when you are both “passing through”. If this happens by accident, it is better to stop and agree on another time to talk, if possible .
On the other hand, to talk about intimacy issues it is good to choose secluded places. In this way we will be removing potential communication barriers based on feelings of shame or concern about whether other people are judging you.
5. Speaks mixing abstract and concrete
Another key to communicating better with your partner is not to assume that because the other person loves you, they understand everything you feel, even if you use very abstract or ambiguous language to communicate it.
Therefore, it is necessary to relate everything we say about our feelings to experiences of everyday life, especially if they involve our partner .
6. Don’t be afraid of the clash of interests
In a relationship it is normal to have some opposing interests. It is a consequence of forming a group (in this case, a very small group of two). Individuals do not cease to exist by the fact of forming something greater than the sum of themselves, as is a love relationship. Denying that kind of tension will only chronify a problem that can bring many unpleasant surprises and disappointments.
7. Avoid a competitive attitude
When it comes to communicating better with your partner, it’s all about finding a better fit and consensus, not about winning. Therefore, monitors the way you are participating in the dialogue and, if you detect that you are entering a kind of contest to see who talks longer or who shouts more, correct this. Not doing so will increase the chances that your partner will also adopt this confrontational attitude.
8. Take time to recap
From time to time, when you notice that important ideas have come up in the conversation, take stock of what has been said by both you and your partner. This serves both to qualify the ideas and to introduce a moment of “pause” and rest to calm down in case there is a certain risk of anger, boredom or frustration , as it induces us to adopt a more distant perspective of ourselves.
9. Avoid falling into fallacies
Fallacies are argumentative “traps” that are often easy to detect as such. Therefore, avoid their use. Not only because they do not contribute anything or improve the quality of the dialogue, but also because they can be seen as a lack of respect , a waste of time in exchange for trying to convince the other person in a sloppy way. Try to be guided by the value of honesty both in presenting your ideas and in talking about your partner’s ideas.