5 Tips to Improve Communication With Your Romantic Partner

According to psychotherapist, Darlene M. Scott, it is important to be honest with yourself about your relationship problems. She also encourages you to be open to changing some of your behaviors to improve the overall communication within the relationship. Here are five tips to improve your communication with your partner:

  1. Be honest with yourself before approaching a difficult conversation. Difficult conversations can become even more difficult when you approach the discussion filled with anger. Approaching a difficult conversation with your partner while you are extremely angry is a huge mistake. When we are angry, we tend to say things that we do not mean. Other times, we become vindictive and say things that will hurt the other person because we are feeling hurt. We do this when we are feeling betrayed, hurt or angry. However, this behavior makes the relationship emotional unsafe. If you believe that you have a problem controlling your anger, consider seeking mental health counseling. If you do not have time to travel to see a therapist in person, consider scheduling a telehealth session for therapy. Basic Bliss Life Coaching and Counseling offers both telehealth and in-person sessions and appointments can be scheduled online quickly.
  2. Start difficult conversations by taking responsibilities for your actions upfront. Acknowledge what you could have done differently and how you contributed to the problem. For example, if you accused your partner of lying without any evidence, you might start the conversation by saying, “I know that I accused you of lying and I am sorry. I should not have accused you of lying, I should have told you how I was feeling about the situation without accusing you.” This can be tricky for some people because if you say, “I am sorry, but…” it negates your apology. “I am sorry, but…” sends the message that you are not taking full responsibility for your actions. Instead you are claiming that you responded the way that you did because of something that they did. Remember, you are starting the conversation by taking full responsibilities for your actions. This does not mean that your partner’s actions were acceptable, but it shows that you are mature enough to acknowledge the part that you played in the conflict.
  3. Use disclaimers when you have a history of poor communication in the past. For example, if you have a history of yelling during conversations with your partner and you are trying to change, you may have to start by saying, “I know that I have yelled a lot in the past, but I want to change that. I am not going to yell while we are talking tonight.” You might have to do this if your partner has been traumatized by your poor communication habits in the past. It is important that you acknowledge that you are trying to change.
  4. Use “I” statements instead of “You” statements. This another part of taking responsibility for your actions. Do not say things like,“you make me do this” of “if you would just do this, then we would not argue.” You should be communicating how you feel and why you feel that way without blaming your behavior on your partner. Remember, you are responsible for your own actions. “I” statements focus on your internal experience and allow you to share your thoughts and feelings about a situation without making accusations.
  5. Be careful who you ask for advice about your relationship. Do not talk to your parents or your friends about the situation before talking to your partner. Let’s be honest and admit that your friends and family members want you to be happy and they are not objective. Even if your best friend is a therapist, he or she lacks full objectivity because of the attachment to you. Also, when people give you advice, they are speaking from their personal experience. A person cannot be separated from their past or from the their relationship history. Often times, people will give you advice based on how they are feeling about their relationship at the time. Telling a friend or a family member what happened in your relationship can also cause tension between your partner and your support network. Do not slander your partner and expect those that love you to forget and forgive easily.

If all of these tips fail, consider a few sessions with a licensed clinician and try to work through your issues with a neutral party present in a safe and therapeutic environment.

Interested in individual counseling or couples counseling? Visit https://www.basic-bliss.com/ and schedule your first therapy session. You can schedule online and see a therapist within a week of scheduling.

By: Darlene M. Scott, LPC, NCC

Licensed Psychotherapist

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