Learning to communicate with your partner in a healthy way can significantly improve your relationship. Be patient with yourself as you learn these skills and keep in mind that it takes time for this new way of communicating to stick.
To communicate successfully with your partner, you will first need to understand your own needs. Think about how you process information and how you convey your thoughts to those around you.
If you are an internal processor, you like to take your time and think before you respond to someone. You may even rehearse what you have to say in your head or out loud before you say it. Others may talk over you, or you may feel frustrated with your response time. Letting your partner know how you process information can help him or her better understand how to communicate with you.
Letting your partner know how you process information can help them better understand how to communicate with you
If you are an external processor, you like to talk out loud. You may not need an immediate response from your partner while you are working on what you are trying to say. You may make a mistake and say something that accidentally hurts your partner’s feelings while you are working on what you are trying to convey.
Before you start chatting with your partner, check in with yourself. Do a quick body scan and check to see if any part of your body has any tension. To do this, close your eyes and begin to focus on your feet and work your way up to your head, noticing if any part of you feels more tense or stressed. Then, identify what emotions are coming up for you. Connecting with your body can help you better identify your emotions and their intensity so you can successfully articulate your feelings to your partner.
In addition to being connected to yourself and expressing your feelings, it is important to be receptive to listening to your partner. This creates an open and respectful environment where you both feel comfortable being vulnerable with each other.
It can be hard not to start thinking of a response when someone starts talking, especially during a heated conversation. To fully engage with your partner, use active listening skills. This means listening to them without judgment and then paraphrasing what they’ve told you to make sure you understand them completely.
To fully engage with your partner, use active listening skills
If you’re not sure what your partner is saying, it’s important to ask them. Sometimes it can be difficult to ask clarifying questions if you feel emotionally charged about what they are talking about. Keep in mind that asking questions can help you get through whatever it is you’re talking about together.
Connecting with your partner is not an easy path, however healthy communication skills are part of having a loving, honest and caring relationship. Both you and your partner can work on these skills together.