Communication is important in relationships. You need to talk openly and be good listeners. It is better to act early if you are having difficulties, rather than waiting for the situation to get worse.
Use our tips to make sure you are prioritising talking in your relationship.
Understand how you communicate
Be clear and check
Two ears. Two eyes. One mouth.
Tip 1: Understand how you communicate
- It takes two people to have a relationship and each person has different communication needs and styles.
- Couples need to find a way of communicating that suits their relationship.
- Healthy communication styles require practice and hard work.
- Remember, communication will never be perfect all the time.
Tip 2: Be clear and check
- Be clear when communicating with your partner, so that your message can be received and understood.
- Double check your understanding of what your partner is saying.
- Negotiate and remember that you don’t have to be right all the time.
- If the issue you are having is not that important, try to let the issue go, or agree to disagree.
Tip 3: Two ears. Two eyes. One mouth.
- You have two ears and two eyes, and one mouth – give them the right priority.
- Listen to your partner. Put aside your own thoughts. Try to understand their intentions, feelings, needs and wants.
- When we communicate, we can say a lot without speaking. Our body posture, tone of voice and the expressions on our face all convey a message.
- These non-verbal means of communicating can tell the other person how we feel about them.
Tip 4: Make space and be honest
- Set aside time to talk without interruption from other people or distractions like phones, computers or television.
- Think about what you want to say and talk about what is happening and how it affects you.
- Talk about what you want, need and feel – use ‘I’ statements such as ‘I need’, ‘I want’ and ‘I feel’.
- Accept responsibility for your own feelings.