Updated: Dec 8, 2020
Do you know that you need to improve communication in your relationship?
Are you wondering how can you can improve communication skills in my relationship?
Let us start with a key question...
What do you desire for your relationship?
Harmony? Love and connection? Calm? Significance? Certainty? Excitement? Fulfilment? That wonderful feeling that someone 'gets you'? Cares about you? Loves to talk to you??
To create a relationship like this, you will need potent communication, not necessarily all of the time, but at least some of the time.
Healthy, strong and loving
relationships require healthy, strong and loving communication.
But some people struggle.
Some partners want their spouse to 'open up' more and complain that they don't talk about how they are feeling. Often when this happens, it creates separation and disconnect as needs are no longer being met and one or both of the couple feels insignificant, taken for granted, undervalued or unheard. The couple then starts to doubt their relationship and question if it is wrong.
Often it isn't wrong; it is merely a disconnect caused by inadequate or non - existent communication. Many couples break up because of the emotions caused by miscommunication.
When was the last time you focused on your communication skills?
When was the last time you focused on your partners'?
From now on, can you choose to focus mainly on your own communication? Your partner will improve naturally when you have created the space for them to do so.
Are you ready to make a change? Great, please go and get a pen and paper and go through the following steps and apply them to yourself and your relationship.
Step One - Stop Blaming
Stop blaming your partner for not 'opening up' and take responsibility for your part in the relationship. Blaming is disempowering for both of you and gets you nowhere. Step into your power and vow to make the changes necessary to create your ideal relationship.
Make potent communication a priority.
Please take notice of it, be aware all of the time until it becomes a habit.
Step Two - Focus on Your Part
The first step to change within our relationships is to change within ourselves. The people around us shift and change according to how we are around them.
Are you bringing your best self to the relationship? If not, why not?
Pay attention to what you are bringing to the relationship: Are you being open or closed off? Are you being understanding or irritable? Are y
ou being loving or unkind? These are just a few suggestions, you will be many things around your partner, ask yourself what you were like around them when you first met? Are you still being; like that now? If not, is there a reaso
n for that? Could you be that bain been for some of the time? When we meet our partners we are our best selves, and they a; also bring their best self. What would occur if you brought your best self to the relationship?
Can you write down a list of all of the ways you were when you met and tap into those parts of you again?
Have fun within it :)
If you want a loving, calm and harmonious relationship then BE calm, BE harmonious and BE loving.
Step Three - Don't Judge, Criticise, Blame or Shame
The killers of communication are judging, criticising, blaming and shaming.
If you want your partner to shut down, go silent, be irritable and start to blank you out, then all you have to do is keep doing these th
ings daily and watch your relationship go down the pan.
If you want all of the things I listed above within your relationship, then that is what YOU have to bring into the relationship. BE harmonious, BE calm, BE Caring and BE loving.
If you just asked why should I have to do that when my partner isn't? The answer is because YOU want that relationship and YOU are creating it, so why NOT you?
You can't control your partner, you CAN choose for yourself, and when you change those around you change too. :)
Step Four - Open Communication
Offer/block. Magali Peysha created this communication strategy.
When your spouse speaks to you, it is an offer; it could be a suggestion, question or just a simple comment. You get to choose how to respond to that. If you respond with a block, you have shut down the lines of communication, and your partner may feel shut down.
If you are getting blocked in your communication more than you are receiving offers then you will start to feel undervalued, insignificant, ignored, taken for granted and generally like you are not good enough for your partner.
Do you feel that way?
Does your partner feel that way?
An offer could be: Shall we go for a walk.
A block to that would be: No, its raining
A further offer would be: I love walking in the rain it is refreshing, it makes me feel invigorated.
A further block would be: I hate the rain.
The person making the offer here is trying to connect, and the other person has shut down those chances twice.
So, return an offer with an offer. For example: Can we wait until later and see if it stops raining? Or, I know you love walking in the rain, but I would prefer to go when it stops, is that ok?
Notice when you are blocking your partner and try to return an offer with another offer.
This strategy can make incredible changes in a relationship.
Step Five: We are all different and that is OK
Accept that your partner may communicate in a different way to you. We are all different, and your way is not the right way, it is just your way. Notice how your partner communicates at their best. What can you do to encourage that?
For example, some people often communicate best in a car; they don't feel under scrutiny as they are not looking straight at you, so they feel more comfortable this way. Some also sometimes need time to think about what they are going to say or how they feel so need a certain amount of silence and patience on your part to open up.
Does your partner communicate more slowly than you?
Do they need time?
Can you be quiet and wait patiently for an answer instead of filling the silence?
Where do they like to talk?
What time of day are they at their best?
What do they like to talk about?
What mood are they in when they like to talk? How can you create that mood for them?
Create the space for your partner, whatever that is for them.
Step Six - Ask open questions.
An open question is a question that requires more than a yes or no answer. It encourages conversation and discussion.
Put down your phone whenever your partner starts to speak to you. It is disrespectful otherwise and gives messages to their unconscious that they don't matter and they aren't valued.
Pay complete attention to what they are saying, don't think about what you are going to say next.
Show that you are interested and are listening, nod your head, make eye contact and make encouraging sounds, yes, hmm etc.
Show empathy, that you understand and care how they are feeling and about their points of view.
Approach it with the mindset that you are finding out information about your partner.
Don't assume you know everything there is to know about your partner, no matter how long you have been together there is always more to learn, just ask the questions. :)
Step Seven: Ask For What You Need
Set the tone: tell them what you need from the conversation.
A lot of frustration within couples is they feel unheard, or their partner wants to fix everything for them when they want to talk and get it out of their system.
Sometimes we want to be acknowledged and would rather not have an in-depth discussion or the other persons' point of view. So tell your partner what you need so they know what is expected of them.
Do you want them to fix it or listen?
" I just need to offload this, is that ok?"
" I need some help figuring this out, can I have your insight n this?"
"What do you think of this?"
"I just need to vent…do you mind listening for a while?"
Our partner can then relax because they know what is required of them.
Step Eight - Be Appreciative
If you show appreciation to your partner consistently it will build trust and they will feel more able to communicate with you/
Showing your partner that you appreciate them is a powerful way to increase connection and trust; this, in turn, improves communication. The more your partner feels appreciated, the more they will feel able to open up to you and share how they are feeling.
Step Nine - Make Time To Communicate
Make time each week at the very least to sit down and chat together. If you have time to do it every day, then that is even better.
Relationships improve with focus and the right tools. The tools I have listed here today could very well turn your connection around very quickly of you implement them consistently. If you think your partner would be on board also then why not work on it together.
Have a regular get together with intentions and boundaries.
Have a regular meet up with each other where you both actively listen to the other.
Come up with a name for it, where you can catch up and reconnect and make it a weekly thing; you can call it an 'At home date night' if you like. Or choose a favourite cafe or restaurant, whatever sets the scene for you to want to achieve with your intention.
Agree when and how often this will happen.
Set an intention of what the purpose of the chat is and then set boundaries of what you are not to talk about.
Ask, what do we want to achieve with this meet up? How do we want to feel?
What do we want to get across? Do we want romance? Is there a problem we want to talk about?
Set the purpose then ask, what must not happen in this conversation? Is there anyone who must not be there? What must not be said? What tone of voice will not be tolerated?
For example, If you want to have a meeting that is intended to make you feel romantic, connected or desired you could set the boundaries that you won't talk about that recurring argument you have that hasn't been resolved yet.
Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed my blog post and that you have a clear idea now of how to improve your communication and your relationship.
Sometimes it is not easy to make these changes by yourself;
I am Jane Parker, I am an Advanced Relationship Coach and I work with couples and individuals who are looking to learn how to improve or save their marriage or relationship.
Please do take a look at my website if you are interested in coaching, I can work with clients from anywhere in the world thanks to Zoom!
If you would like a Complimentary Consultation to find out how I could help you to save your marriage please click HERE and book in.
I look forward to hearing from you,