5 Ways You Can Improve Communication in your Relationship

Good communication is probably THE most important factor that leads to a successful relationship. Here are five ways you can improve communication with your partner, which can lead to feeling happier, healthier, and more connected to each other.

Tip #1: Check in with each other.

Make sure that at least once a day you check in with your partner. Learn what they’re doing that day, what they did that day, or just get a quick update on how they’re doing. This ensures that you remain connected to each other, instead of living parallel to each other. The Gottman Method recommends this as well (called “love maps” in Gottman terminology) to have a more successful relationship.

Tip #2: Ask open-ended questions.

Open-ended questions are questions that cannot be answered with a simple “yes” or “no” and invite more of a dialogue into the conversation. This allows you to get more information from the person you’re talking to, and gives them more control over what you’re talking about. These types of questions can help you and your partner get unstuck in your relationship, foster more communication, and show you’re invested in each other.

Tip #3: Externalize the problem.

If you are faced with a problem or issue that is getting in the way of your relationship, it might help to look at it from an objective perspective. By externalizing the problem, you and your partner can “team up” against the issue and solve it together, as opposed to allowing it to cause conflict between you.

Tip #4: Use I-statements.

I-statements are when you communicate with your partner from your own point-of-view, instead of of calling them out. You take ownership of your own words and approach things from your perspective. When we speak from our perspective, we share what we felt based on our own experience, which helps our partner understand us better.

Tip #5: Listen, don’t fix.

If your partner needs you to listen, listen to them and don’t try to immediately fix their problems. This involves the use of empathy, which is understanding and sharing in how your partner feels. A great example of what this looks like can be found in the clip “It’s Not about the Nail,” which can be used as a tool to explain to your partner you want empathy, not a fix.

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