Do you find it difficult to talk about your feelings to your partner? Is he/she afraid of expressing feelings too? Well, the latest research suggests that this might not be such a bad thing after all. The fact is that besides talking about feelings, there are other ways in which couples can communicate. With healthy communication, couples can and maintain healthy and happy relationships.
A lot of couples start restricting themselves to only ‘important’ conversations after crossing a certain point in the relationship. But small talk isn’t something to be ignored. Don’t assume that holding a conversation about the weather or a TV show does nothing to strengthen your emotional connection. According to communication experts, these so-called insignificant details could actually do more to enhance your closeness with your loved one rather than a very “deep” conversation about feelings.
Most partners assume that time has no meaning when one of them is angry, worried or irritated and needs a let out. Well, actually it does. When something is troubling you and you’re dying to talk to your partner about it, it would be better to identify the right time for the conversation. It is usually best to talk to talk to your loved one when they are in a calm state of mind not stressed, rushed or distracted.
Knowing that your partner is listening to you with all their attention is a big factor in building a strong emotional connection. A great way to become a better listener is to make use of a technique termed as “active listening”. In active listening, you acknowledge that you’re listening to your partner (typically with a slight nod or by saying “uh-huh”). You make an effort to actually comprehend what they are saying. You reflect back to them what you heard and ask for clarification if you need it. By saying “I understand”, and reflecting back what you have heard them say can give a lot of emotional reassurance. This can strengthen your emotional bond.
Did you know that a large chunk of all human communication is not about ‘what is said’; rather it’s about ‘how it is said’? It is important to pay attention to things such as the voice tone, body language, eye contact and physical distance when communicating with your partner. These factors have a huge impact on how certain communication is received by the other. For instance, when a person sits or stands with folded arms, they’re usually feeling defensive. Similarly, poor or no eye contact might mean that the person is ashamed, or not interested, or finding it tough to communicate.
One communication advice given by relationship experts to all couples is to ‘not attack’. What does this actually mean? There might be times when you mean well but still appear to be harsh, simply because of your choice of words. For instance, often ‘you’ sounds like an attack and is likely to get a defensive response from your partner. Further, they might even become less receptive when listening to you. Rather than using ‘you’, try ‘we’ or ‘I’. For example, you could say “I feel a lack of closeness in the relationship lately” rather than “You are not spending time with me”.
If you want to learn to communicate to your partner our couples therapists can help. Our trained therapists can teach you how to communicate, resolve conflicts, and deepen the connection. Call us today and set up your first session. This is what we are passionate about.