11 Tips for Communicating with Your Partner
Sure, you and your partner talk to each other. But was that argument about whose turn it was to buy milk really an example of effective communication? Here are some tips to help you move from "gabbing" to really connecting through your conversations.
1. Realize that no one "wins" an argument. If you don't leave a discussion with a possible solution to the problem, then neither party has been successful.
2. Compromise is an essential tool to solving problems through communication. Before bringing up a problem, make sure you have thought of ways that you can help solve it by mutual compromise.
3. Try to be positive when bringing up sensitive marital problems. Instead of jumping right into a discussion, open by acknowledging that every partnership could be improved and that you'd like to take some time to discuss both the things that are working in your relationship and the areas that could use improvement. It helps to start by talking about positive things and then moving into the deeper discussion on problem areas.
4. Be a "reflective" listener and make sure you understand what your partner has said. Use the phrase, "What I hear you saying is ..." to make sure the proper message has been received.
5. Feel free to use the "time out" card if the discussion gets too intense. If an argument gets heated and irrational, it is better to postpone the discussion to a time and place where effective communication can happen.