Partner Communication - Improve Skills to Improve Relationships
Posted on November 10, 2011 by Deborah Ainsworth, One of Thousands of Family Coaches on Noomii.
Communication can be said to be the root of all relationship failure. Good communication skills are key ensuring a positive relationship. Learn more.
Do you feel you have an effective partner communication? Most partners still have road blocks to overcome and areas of improvement. This is totally normal. there are honest, mutual communications you can have in the areas of goals, values and communication during conflict with your partner. When you practice good communication, growth and content in your partnership will follow.
Every couple naturally finds successful ways of negotiating the basics of communication. You both express yourselves, listen to one another and communicate basic needs effectively. But what about the areas that perplex couples? The level of closeness in any relationship is directly related to the level of honesty and openness and understanding in communication between partners. A good place to start building your communication strength with your partner is in sharing your personal goals with one another. There are prerequisites for sharing your personal goals and dreams are to know yourself, your dreams and that you trust your partner to listen without judging. Share openly and honestly and use a list as a guide if it makes you feel more comfortable and more focused. Consider letting your partner know that in sharing your goals and dreams, that you wanted them to know more about your heart. Ask to know your partners dreams as well. Remember to encourage and listen in a non judgmental way and you will find that you will be a more active listener in the process.
Values can be a hot topic in communication as well. When folks marry, they enter with an expectation of your partner to fulfill their role or even their gender specific role that you may have defined by the example your parents gave. Remember, your partner was not raised in the same household and may have different expectations. Be sure to discuss the roles and expectations and check in often. Remember, you are a team. Once you understand one anothers philosophy on roles, it becomes easier to accomodate one another and make adjustments in your role assignments until you are both in agreement.
The last topic to discuss today, but certainly not the least, is communication during conflict. Conflict is inevitable and normal in any relationship. Conflict does not have to be non-productive nor a power struggle. Conflict becomes a power struggle respect is lost through childish reactions such as yelling, name calling, slamming doors and just focusing on your point in the conflict and not listening to other points. Get to the root of the conflict. Listen to your partner. Voice your concerns and opinions. Always remember this is someone you love and do not want to harm in any way through disparaging comments or say anything that will diminish your respect for one another. Maintain mutual respect and honesty, and avoid the emotion of anger and use of tantrums to try to gain control of the situation.
One of the keys in conflict is to not blame one another and to avoid "you " comments, but rather use “I” comments to express the feelings that you own, not those that you feel were given to you by your partner.
In all communication, leave the past conflict baggage from the past….in the past! It has no business rearing it’s ugly head in new conflicts and truly derails from getting to the root of the conflict to find solutions. When baggage is brought up in conflict, the conflict will be not resolved,and resentment, insecurity and short fuses can be a result. Leave the past out of current conflict to stay focused on solutions and teamwork to get through it together. Personal attacks and past baggage should be agreed upon as taboo in communication. Don’t be afraid to call a timeout if a
conversation becomes taboo or you feel it is heading towards a power struggle. Having space and time to think things through and articulate your response can lead to more effective communication with your partner later.
Remember to communicate love and learn to understand your partners love language.