Communication can be tough, especially when it comes to relationships. Growing your communication tool belt can also be a wonderful way to deepen your love, increase intimacy and strengthen your bond with your partner. Read our list of seven quick tips for better communication.
Sweat the Small Stuff
Social scientists have studied what makes or breaks a relationship. Often enough it comes down to, what an article in The Atlantic refers to as, "emotional bids" for attention. Pay attention when your partner shares something interesting about their day, even if it seems unimportant. When partners ignore these small interactions, it can build up to distance and isolation.
We all know that listening is key. However it is important to remember that listening is not just being quiet and thinking about what you plan to say next. Practice being present with your partner and really hear what they express before responding. Get comfortable with silence, especially if your partner has some difficulty expressing their feelings and you will be able to communicate patience and support.
If you get into a disagreement, work together to set boundaries about what is and is not okay. If you find you or your partner get too upset, you should each be able to set a clear boundary and take a break to drink water, take a walk, or just take a moment alone to get perspective before resuming the conversation.
Tune in to Body Language
Practice speaking with your partner with an open body stance and notice when you would rather close off by crossing your arms or looking down. Work to identify when you are still carrying the stress of your day and practice physically letting that stress go in order to receive safety and support from your partner.
The Eyes Say it All
Make eye contact as often as possible, even while doing household chores or in a crowded social gathering. This non-verbal form of communication can strengthen your bond and create greater intimacy between you and your partner.
Put it in Writing
Get in the habit of writing notes to each other, either via text, or on a white board or shared notebook in your home. Leave sweet love notes, small lines of gratitude or appreciation, or other affirmations that will lift each other’s spirits and strengthen your connection.
Create a Culture of Love
In any relationship, disagreements happen, but you can work to create a culture of loving kindness in your relationship. Assume the best intentions from your partner at all times and set the expectation that they assume the best from you as well. Build in small moments of laughter and sweetness and don't be shy about sharing your positive feelings for your partner. When times are challenging, return to that foundation of kindness and love. Work to resolve disagreements with calm words and kind hearts. Being vulnerable about hurt feelings or differing values can actually lead to greater connection and mutual respect for one another. Move from a place of love and you'll find that you can weather your shared storms with greater strength and compassion.