Healthy Relationship 101: Communicating Effectively

Communicating effectively with your partner is just about as crucial as spending quality time together and understanding one another’s love language; quite possibly, communication is even more critical to building a healthy relationship, since many relationships crumble simply from a lack of it.

Communicating effectively and efficiently with one another is just as basic as understanding one another, and being able to perceive and understand the different emotions and actions of your partner. When it comes to communicating in a relationship – a healthy relationship – each of the partners have two duties.

1. Communicating open and honestly, and to our best abilities in consistently explaining our emotions.

As many of us know, this isn’t always easy. I myself am a poor verbal communicator, so when I’m really in need of understanding from my better half, I’ll write a letter or I’ll simply explain verbally and hope he understands me.

The first step is to learn more about yourself when it comes to communicating about feelings. Where are your strengths? Where are you downfalls? Simply learning this and communicating your weaknesses to your partner will help tremendously.

If you want to establish a successful and healthy relationship, you must learn to share things with your partner, even if these things feel small. A single brick, after all, is small; but bricks piling up can quickly create a wall. Miscommunication in a relationship can quickly put this wall between you and your partner.

So share your independent and unique day-to-day events, and give your partner insight to events that have altered your mood, upset you, or made you extremely happy.  Keep your partner up-to-date on what is happening with your friends and family, your professional and personal life. Make your partner your best friend, and someone you bounce all your creative, wacky, and silly ideas off of.

But most importantly, when things go up or down in the relationship, learn to give your partner feedback on how full your ‘love meter’ is. Don’t simply attack your partner every time they do something to upset you without ever having given them one positive piece of feedback. Positive feedback is very important, and often we forget to deliver on this.

Also remember to explain why you feel upset, and take the onus on yourself; after all, it is your emotion which has – for some reason – been evoked by their behaviour. And if you don’t make this reason understood, both by yourself and your partner, how can they be to blame?

2. Understanding your partner, and asking questions.

Do you see how the two link together? It’s sort of a symbiotic relationship when it comes to the communication within the relationship. Both rely heavily on one another. Once you understand yourself and your own ways of communicating, you can turn your attention to your partner.

How does your partner communicate the emotional things in life? How does their behaviour change when they are feeling upset? How can you help them to communicate with you?

Regardless of whether we consider ourselves good communicators or not, we all have good and bad days. Sometimes we don’t even realize that there’s something that’s bothering us, but most of these times, our behaviours will tell our partners that there’s certainly something worth talking about.

Some small tips on building better communication for a healthy relationship are simple: talk, don’t text. Don’t expect your partner to be a mind-reader. And don’t say “nothing” when there’s definitely something.

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Photo Credit: Ally Matos