How to Communicate Better With Your Partner

Communication is more than just talking to your partner. Open, clear and honest communication is important for all successful relationships. Use the tips below for improving communication between you and your partner:

  1. Finding the right time. Timing is important. If something is bothering you, and you wish to raise it with your partner, it can be helpful to find the right time to talk. Try to find a time when you and your partner are not distracted, stressed or rushing about. If you or your partner are busy, try scheduling a time when the both of you can talk.
  1. Avoid having difficult conversations in writing. Text messages, emails and letters can be misinterpreted and this can cause more conflict. Try to discuss issues face-to-face to avoid unnecessary miscommunications. If you have trouble organising your thoughts, try writing them down first and reading them aloud to your partner.
  1. Use “I” rather than “you”. Even the most well-meaning of statements may sound harsh depending on word choice. Beginning a sentence with the word “you” may sound confronting and raise a defensive response from your partner. Instead, start with “I” and let your partner know how you are feeling. For example, say “I feel like we are drifting apart”, instead of, “You are being distant”.
  1. Put away your devices and other distractions.  Give your partner your full attention when communicating. Show them that you respect and appreciate their presence by putting down that phone, tablet etc.
  1. Put yourself in their shoes. It’s easy to get caught up in our own thoughts and feelings.  Take a moment to consider your partner’s thoughts, feelings and wishes.
  1. Be honest. Sometimes the truth hurts, however honesty is crucial to any successful relationship. Tell your partner how you feel and what you need in a respectful and considerate way. 
  1. Consider your body language. Communication is not just about talking. Your body posture and position can also influence your interactions with your partner. Sit up, face them and make eye contact when speaking and listening to your partner. 
  1. What if I’m angry? It’s okay to feel angry in a relationship, but it is important to make sure this does not cloud your communication with your partner.
  • Take some time. If you feel as though you cannot control your anger, take some time out from the conversation. Agree with your partner that you will revisit the topic when you are both feeling calmer and more clear-headed.
  • Think. Think about what it was about the interaction or topic that made you so angry.  Was it the topic, what your partner did or how they said something? Consider the real cause of your anger and think about how you can tell you partner in a calm, respectful and open way.
  • Listen. Once you have let your partner know how you feel in a considerate way, it is time to stop talking and listen. Everyone deserves the opportunity to communicate in a safe and healthy environment.

Feel like you need more help?  Contact Artius today and speak with our of our Psychologists 1300 986 886 or email health@artius.com.au