There is absolutely no denying that an open line of communication is vitally essential for building strong, positive relationships with others. The biggest problem is that most people lead such busy, often stressful lives that we forget to think about communicating effectively with a partner. Good communication requires extra focus and effort. It means truly understanding how we communicate with others and having a genuine desire to improve a relationship.
A great start toward overcoming communication difficulties is understanding that, in most cases, men and women do communicate very differently from one another. For example, compared to women, most men tend to talk less, are reluctant to discuss feelings, are quicker to seek solutions, interrupt more often, and are quicker to withdraw when confronted by their partner. On the other hand, women tend to be more emotional and want to talk about the problems that are developing in a relationship.
To improve communication with others, especially with a spouse, significant other, or other family members, regarding important issues, it is crucial to put forth the effort to get past any communication differences. There are several helpful techniques to help improve communication in any relationship.
Simple things like making eye contact or expressing love and gratitude to a partner can make a significant difference within the relationship. It is also essential to focus on using "I" statements rather than "you" accusations, automatically putting your partner on the defensive.
It is also helpful to avoid words like "always" and "never" since such absolutes are virtually never true. Similarly, being critical or sarcastic and name-calling are significant ways to hinder rather than improve communication with your partner.
Another essential element in communicating better is to listen to understand instead of listening to respond. It's easy to assume to know what the other person is trying to express and to start formulating a reply before they are even done talking. Instead, being empathetic to their emotions and taking the time to listen carefully to what they are attempting to express can help keep lines of communication healthy and open. In addition, it is beneficial to repeat what has been said to ensure a fundamental understanding of what a partner meant.
Most people tend to be unaware of their body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice, but these can communicate many messages. For example, when using a mocking tone, rolling your eyes, standing with hands on hips, or crossing arms, it sends a very negative message to your partner. But maintaining eye contact, keeping a positive or at least neutral facial expression, and listening to your partner will make them feel more comfortable and give you a real chance to achieve positive communication with one another.
Poor communication is one of the primary reasons couples facing problems consult with professional counselors. Orlando Thrive Therapy is here to empower you to communicate more effectively with relationship counseling in Winter Garden and the surrounding area. Communicating well in a relationship takes practice and work, but it is likely to pay big dividends in the long run.
Heather Oller is a licensed Orlando therapist at Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching & Counseling who specializes in counseling Orlando couples, individuals, and families who are seeking changes in their lives. She has been a mental health professional for over 17 years and is a practicing Orlando counselor that specializes in conflict resolution for couples. You can contact her for an appointment or call 407-592-8997 for more information.