4 ways to improve communication in your relationship

November 26, 2014

If you're in a romantic relationship, chances are that boosting communication is of paramount importance to you. With these tips, you can take some concrete steps to improve the overall dynamic of you relationship.

4 ways to improve communication in your relationship

1. Don't talk when angry

When people get angry, they often things they don't mean. If you or your partner is very angry, consider postponing an important conversation until each of you has had time to cool off. If things start getting heated in the middle of the conversation, try establishing keywords that indicate that you're upset and might need to postpone the conversation. It's much easier to discuss topics when calm, even if it takes some time before you reach that point.

2. Really listen

This seems straightforward, but you might be surprised about how difficult it can be to just sit back and listen to what the other person has to say — especially during a heated moment. Even if you feel something strongly, or if you eagerly want to share your thoughts and opinions, make sure to give your partner ample time to share his or her feelings and really listen while he or she does. Increase intimacy by showing that you're attentive. Bonus: taking a moment to stop a listen can help you think more rationally and develop better solutions to your problems.

3. Notice nonverbal communication

People don't always use words to communicate. In fact, body language is one of the main ways human beings communicate with one another. Make sure to pay attention and analyze what your partner's body language conveys to gain insight into how he or she really feels. Arms crossed over the chest can mean that someone feels closed off, and a lack of eye contact means that he or she is disinterested or ashamed. These nonverbal cues can help you understand what your partner is actually feeling and, in turn, communicate better verbally.

4. Pick the right time and place

You should always be open with your partner, but if there's a particularly sensitive topic or important imminent conversation, pick the appropriate time and place to have it. It's rarely wise to have private conversations in public because they can be embarrassing and uncomfortable for you and those around you. Also, having a difficult conversation at the end of a long hard day or when someone isn't at their best can result in an ineffective or more unpleasant conversation than necessary. Picking the right time and place can ensure you're both able to handle the conversation and respond to it appropriately and as effectively as possible.

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