One of the most important yet unspoken things that everybody in a relationship expects from their partners is for the communication lines to be open. They want their partners to be honest and truthful, with nothing – not even a tiny unimportant detail left behind. But while we commit to do the same, we also tend to violate this cardinal rule unknowingly.
But how exactly should you deal with communication problems? Here are 8 baby steps that you can start with:
1. Agree on a set of house rules.
When starting out as a couple, you and your partner may want to sit down and discuss what you are expecting from each other, and how you want to channel your opinions in case you stumble upon difficult issues. This may sound too technical at first, as this is not commonly practiced, but it helps a lot.
By talking about and agreeing on a set of house rules for your relationship, you learn more about each other’s thoughts and opinions, both as partners and as individuals. And if you love each other, you will be able to exercise respect towards these rules, as you have jointly agreed to commit to them.
2. When talking about expectations, do so in the form of “aspirations.”
Telling your partner about your expectations from him or her can be very intimidating, and they may end up feeling that they’re obliged to do something for you. While it is normal for both parties to feel a sense of “obligation,” maybe you can convey your expectations in a rather sugarcoated manner.
You may open up the discussion about what you are expecting from each other in the form of sharing your aspirations. It is because your partner wants to feel involved as much as you do, and sharing these aspirations allows them to be more motivated in contributing to the relationship – including communicating properly.
3. Don’t take non-personal communication channels for granted.
Many of us think that since we talk on the phone or chat on Facebook with our partners so often, our communication lines are doing great. Nope, that’s not always the case. There are even instances when it is these very same channels that bring turmoil to the relationship.
Communicating via technological devices may be very convenient, but at the same time they are limiting in terms of the quality of your conversation. So yes, if you want to discuss serious matters that require a solid communication line, do it in person, face to face.
4. Apply maximum tolerance.
When you are in a relationship, it doesn’t mean that you two already own each other, and that you only have to focus on what you are sharing together. You should keep in mind that even if you are already married, you two are still living separate, individual lives. And this is where maximum tolerance comes to play.
Maximum tolerance is when you allow your partner to do the things he or she likes to do as an individual. This can be hard as it may entail going out with friends, focusing on work, and doing other activities that do not concern you. However, relationships are a test of patience and trust. So if you trust your partner (and vice versa), tolerance can be achieved.
5. Make it a point to spend some “gadget-free” time together.
Another way to beat communication issues in a relationship is by setting yourselves free from the control of technology for a while. This means going on a hike or strolling in the park without communication devices, or swimming at the beach with your phones tucked in the trunk of your car.
Gadgets these days, due to their multitude of features, tend to be major distractions in times when you are supposed to be enjoying each other’s company. Oftentimes you spend more time tinkering with these devices and the apps that come with them, rather than realizing that your relationship is already going towards a downward spiral because you two don’t talk anymore.
6. Play mind games.
By saying “mind games,” we don’t mean making each other paranoid. We’re doing this literally, by means of fun games such as charades or Cards Against Humanity, Monopoly, etc. These games strengthen your communication lines as a couple, as you deal with riddles together.
You may not realize it easily but through these games, you are able to see how your partner thinks towards a particular situation, and how they intend to solve the problem. They will likewise see these in you, and from there you are able to bring up more serious issues or problems in ways that align to how they think, feel, and react.
7. Don’t start the conversation with a nag.
We all want to be wooed. We all want our partners to make us feel loved, adored, and shower us with sweetness. And we want to feel this more when we are facing a problem as a couple.
When you and your partner are dealing with a certain situation, it is a major no-no for you to begin the argument with a nag. Sure, you are starting to feel frustrated by how things are going, but pressing for your solution is not the way to go. Your partner will easily break and feel useless, and would either shut up just to keep you satisfied, or come to realize that he or she already wants out of the relationship.
8. Always be sensitive of each other’s feelings.
Breakups often happen because the people involved in the relationship are no longer sensitive of each other’s feelings. They prioritize their own welfare, and tend to solve problems on their own instead of doing it as team. They also begin to keep secrets from each other, just to keep everything as nice and dainty as they seem.
However, this tragedy can be easily avoided if you two are sensitive of each other feelings. This means you make it a point to acknowledge each other’s emotions, opinions, and proposed solutions towards a problem, no matter how easy or difficult it is to solve. By being more sensitive, it would be easier to talk things through, come up with a decision, and resolve whatever issue you are dealing with as a couple.
Communication issues always aggravate all problems encountered in a relationship. By not working on your communication lines, you may not be able to enjoy a healthy and stable relationship in the long run.