It is very likely that you and your partner have many similarities along with many differences. Your similarities are what brought you together in the first place. As far as differences, you both grew up in different households with different rules, expectations, and experiences. Along with these things, it is also likely that you grew up learning different communication skills. It is important to get on the same page with your partner with communication, as it will make a world of difference in your relationship, for all stages of the relationship.
Here are some tips to help improve communication in your relationship.
Speak Your Truth – Talking through any problems you may be having is critical to long-term success in a partnership. It is common for woman to silence their emotions and for men to lash out, however, it is also possible for these roles to be reversed. If you are able to get into a pattern where you can both discuss your feelings – calmly and rationally, as they happen in the present moment verses letting them sit and fester, only to be dealt with later when a whole other issue may be boiling as well – you will likely avoid some of the upset and begin to live a more harmonious life. Try to keep things light by using humor and smiling – which will release feel-good chemicals in the brain.
Tune In – Listening without thinking about how you are going to respond is a great practice to improve your communication skills, and not only with your partner, but with any relationship you have (family, friends, co-workers). Repeating and paraphrasing what your partner has said before you respond is key to effective communication in your relationship. Speak up on what you need and encourage your partner to do so as well. You will likely be better equipped to meet each others’ needs if you are both able to really tune into one another and then apply what has been said and agreed upon to your relationship.
Focus On The Positive – One of the differences between the relationships that succeed and the relationships that fail is the ability to express positive feelings. If you have a negative communication style that consists mostly of accusations and upset, begin to replace your negative words with more positive ones.
Touch – Things such as a playful touch, a knowing gaze, or a gentle smile, are all simple ways that can accomplish more communication than words can at times. Very few people can come up to you and kiss you or place their hand in yours – a playful little touch like that can be very soothing. It is a physical connection to one another.
How well you both are able to communicate to one another will factor in how smoothly other things in your relationship run. Remember that clear and focused communication is a skill and it takes practice and time to cultivate it into your relationship.