Effective and efficient communication is not just important but absolutely indispensable in every relationship. A relationship starved of effective communication deteriorates and finally dies a natural death.
There is hardly any issue in a relationship or marriage that can not be fixed and resolved, if the partners involved are willing to communicate effectively.
Many misunderstandings and assumptions are cleared on the altar of efficient and effective communication. Neither you nor your partner is a mind reader. If you do not properly communicate your thoughts and feelings, there is no way the other party will get to know those exact thoughts and feelings.
Developing communication skills is neither a rocket science nor a walk in the park. It takes good practice, consistency and commitment to develop efficient communication skills.
However, imbibing the following values will help you in achieving efficient communication in a relationship:
- Respect and value: Respect and value your partner. Recognise and respect individual differences. Everybody can’t be or act like you. That doesn’t make them less human. Respect each other’s views and opinions on issues, even if you don’t totally agree with such views and opinions.
- Acceptance: Having recognised individual differences, then accept your partner or the other person in his/her uniqueness. When someone feels accepted, it makes relationship easier and sweeter. Don’t give your partner the impression that you are only tolerating him/her.
Effective listening: Listening means to make an effort not just to hear, but to understand something. That is, to be alert and ready to hear something-sometimes even beyond what is said. Effective listening goes beyond not talking. Rather, it is the art of showing genuine interest in the other person. It involves non verbal communication skills like eye contact and gestures, paying attention, avoiding interruptions through tolerating silence, not being judgemental, positive body language displays, and understanding the other person’s opinion before giving yours. During communication, listen more, talk less and don’t be hasty with your response.
- Empathy: Empathy is the action of understanding, being aware of, or being sensitive. It is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Show empathy, not pity. That is, putting yourself in the other person’s shoe.
Open mindedness: Don’t be judgemental. Don’t rush into conclusions without having enough reasons to back up such conclusions. Do not take major decisions concerning your partner or relationship based on assumptions or hearsay. Be open minded.
Add fun to your communication: Don’t just talk about the big issues in your relationship. Rather, talk about everything! Yes! both big and the little issues. Talking about your day to day activities helps to cement your union and makes you bond more. This eventually adds fun to your union.
Be honest: Avoid lies. When you build your relationship on lies, you will need many more lies to sustain the previous lies. Be yourself. Avoid lies and take responsibility for your actions and inaction.
- Do face to face talk: With the wide spread and acceptance of technology, communication on technological gadgets and social media seem to have taken over face to face talk. In as much as those means of communication have their roles, however, there are some issues that are better discussed face to face. Face to face communication can be quite effective in conflict resolution and in bonding because it gives room for non verbal clues, eye and bodily contacts, which help in proper communication.
- Avoid distractions from technological gadgets: Technology is great, but not without its downsides. In as much as technology can help a lot in communication, it can also disrupt effective communication in relationships. Learn to take a break from your phones, television and other gadgets that could serve as distractions when communicating with your partner, especially if it’s a face to face communication.
Now that you have the secrets to developing the art of efficient communication, it is time to put what you have learnt into action.
Remember, the power is in the doing and not in the reading or knowing alone. As they say, the information that you use is the actual power.
For couples to effectively communicate in their relationship, both partners have to be actively involved.