Good communication in a relationship-the basic key to a healthy relationship. Learn how to improve your communication skills and communicate effectively with your partner in this post.
What is communication in a relationship?
Communication is the process of giving, receiving and understanding messages. It involves expressing oneself, listening, exchanging ideas, understanding, talking and using body language, facial expressions and a host of other behaviours.
Communication is very important in a relationship because it helps you to pass on and obtain information, get things done, achieve understanding and also develop your relationship. It is the process by which couples or individuals share information, feelings and attitude with their partner.
Types of Communication
There are mainly two types of communication-Verbal communication and Non-verbal communication.
Verbal Communication is the type of communication that involves the exchange of ideas, thoughts or feelings through spoken or written words.
When a couple decides to express him/her self through spoken or written words, he/she has communicated verbally.
Non-verbal communication is the type of communication in which we send and receive information through actions, pictures and facial expression gesture.
Importance of Communication in a Relationship
1.It fosters understanding:
Since communication is the process of sending and receiving information, it helps couples to have a better understanding of themselves and be able to solve certain relationship problems when they arise.
2. It reduces conflict in a relationship:
There is no relationship without crisis. The difference is how you handle those relationship problems. That is why a good communication skill helps to resolve those issues without the intervention of the third party.
3. It improves sexual relationship:
Communication about sexual feelings, desires and boundaries improves sexual relationship. The ability of a couple to discuss issues affecting their sexual life will help them solve those issues amicably.
Ways to improve communication in a Romantic Relationship
1. Develop and active listening skill:
One major way to communicate better in a relationship is to develop a good listening skill. Developing a good listening skill can be done by:
- Establishing eye contact with your partner while communicating with him/her.
- Listening to your partner without interruption
- Paying attention to your partner without thinking of what to say next.
- Making your partner realize that you are listening through body language. For instance, nodding, leaning forward and some other gestures.
- By empathizing with your partner as they speak.
2. Be bold:
Another way to improve your communication with your partner is to be bold while speaking. Avoid being shy or soft-spoken. But that doesn’t mean your voice should sound or look like you’re intimidating him/her. It will help you to express yourself better and also help your partner to have a clear understanding of what you are saying.
3. Make use of the phrase ‘I’ while speaking:
Using the “I” statement helps you to express how you feel. Personalize your statement. It will also help your partner to understand how you feel while talking to them.
4. Be honest:
Express your feelings honestly and clearly without putting your partner down. Don’t use the power of communication to criticize or make your partner feel bad about him/herself.
5. Apply knowledge:
Knowledge is power. Be sure you have relevant facts on issues to be discussed.
6. Make use of non-verbal messages:
Practice non-verbal messages such as smiling and touching your partner while communicating with him/her.
Communication is not all about speaking and listening. Some non-verbal messages speaks louder than voice. A little smile on your face is capable of making an angry partner to calm down.
Again, while communicating with your partner, make your messages to be clear, simple, accurate, brief and straight to the point.
“The way you look, listen, move, and react to another person tells them more about how you’re feeling than words alone ever can”. Says Helpguide
7. Acquire negotiation skills:
Negation simply means formal discussion between people who are trying to reach an agreement.
Acquiring negotiation skill is very important because it helps you to learn how to settle some problems in your relationship without the help of the third party. In the process of acquiring negotiation skill, learn how to compromise whenever there is a need for that.
Barriers to effective communication in Relationships
Some couple tends to misunderstand themselves when communicating with each other. This is as a result of some barriers unknown to them.
Below are some of the things that hinders communication from being effectiv in a relationship.
1.Barriers from the Speaker or Sender:
Most times, our partner tend to misunderstand us as a result of the use of wrong words, wrong tone, being hasty in speech (speed in speech), bad manner of speech, use of technical terms, complexity of messages, etc.
2. Barrier from the Listener:
Most times, the problem may not really come from you. It may be as a result of your partner’s inability to listen properly, refusal to be attentive, impatience, pride, interruption of speech, changing topic, exhibiting some bad manner of speech like; talking loudly, giving negative non-verbal messages like scowling or frowning, etc.
3. Difference in culture and values:
Cultural differences contributes also to why some couples or lovers fail to communicate effectively with their partner. Most couples tend to misunderstand themselves as a result of what they believe in. When that believe is tampered with, no amount of negotiation can resolve the issue.
4. Lack of knowledge:
Lack of knowledge about the issues being discussed is another barrier to effective communication in a relationship. When your partner is not properly informed, or when he/she has little knowledge of what is being discussed, there are some possibilities of him/her not communicating effectively.