Communication with other people is the foundation of our civilization – it is necessary in every aspect of everyday life. Undoubtedly, however, communication with strangers is significantly different from that which is desired between partners in a successful and lasting relationship. Lack of the ability to clearly express one’s needs and expectations has long-term effects and tensions and misunderstandings gradually destroy the relationship. Good communication in a relationship is also the ability to listen and analyze the partner’s words. Do you feel that there is a growing barrier between you? Learn how to improve communication in your relationship and get the best out of it.
Acceptance of differences is the key to a good relationship
More than 25 years ago, John Gray, a family therapist from the United States, wrote the best-selling guidebook “Men are from Mars, women are from Venus.” The title of his book has permanently settled in contemporary culture, briefly summarizing the differences between the sexes. Men and women usually differ in their goals, values and interpersonal skills. If we also consider the different personalities and characters of the partners, the relationship really seems to be a combination of two completely different worlds. How to reconcile it?
It can often be seen that partners build their expectations of themselves based on their own experiences, values or aspirations. At the same time, they forget about the individuality of the other person, trying to change or subordinate them. It is important to understand and accept the partner’s difference and use possible differences to build a lasting future. The basis of communication in a relationship must be mutual respect, which results from recognizing the value of another person as he is.
Conversation in a relationship – an art you both have to learn
Numerous studies of psychologists show that women are characterized by better abilities in verbal and non-verbal communication. Therefore they say more and these messages are more focused on cooperation and building closeness. Non-verbal messages, such as facial expressions, tone of voice or gestures, are not only sent by women more often, but also better read. In this respect, women are slightly more adapted to communication than men, but this does not mean that they can always communicate with their partner. We all know the proverbial: “Guess!”
And in this way we smoothly move to one of the most common problems – a message that has never been expressed. It cannot be assumed that the partner has telepathic skills and will easily read our expectations. This seemingly trivial behavior is a common cause of accumulated misunderstandings and frustration. The problem is not big if we talk about the lack of communication in a relationship regarding small things from everyday life, such as the division of duties. Worse, when expectations relate to the elementary components of a relationship – intimacy, closeness or commitment. So how we should talk so that mutual dialogue is mature and valuable?
Think first, then talk!
It is good to start with your own attitude, not to assume failure or quarrel in advance, but expect a joint solution to the problem and understanding. Good approach allows us to avoid unnecessary reproaches towards the partner or generalization, which can very quickly turn into a quarrel. Communication with a partner should be based on calm and constructive conversation; without aggression or anger. Therefore, it is worth avoiding impulsive reactions, carefully thinking about the form and content of your speech. This also applies to non-verbal messages, because facial expressions or accusing tone of voice can quickly bring conversation into conflict.
Communication in a relationship, however, is not only providing information to your partner, but also the ability to listen to the other person. Try to show understanding and if in doubt, ask. Empathy plays a big role here, which allows us to empathize with our partner’s feelings and perspective. Sometimes, however, it happens that independent attempts to fix communication in a relationship are not fruitful, and tensions increasingly prevent life together. In such a situation, it is worth considering starting a couple therapy, during which an experienced psychotherapist will teach partners the principles of valuable dialogue.
The relationship is built by two people and it depends on them whether it will be mature and durable. Correct communication is the basis of a close relationship of partners, which is why it should not be neglected. With time many couples come to solutions and compromises that build a healthy bond. However, if it is difficult to find an agreement and you still care about yourself, then a joint visit to a psychotherapist may prove to be the perfect solution.