5 Tips to Improve Communication in Your Relationship

Couple's Counselor San Diego CATo have a mutually-satisfying relationship, a couple should engage in a communication style that openly supports discussions of issues raised by either partner. These issues can range from common everyday grievances to much larger concerns, such as those grounded in finances or infidelity. To improve communication in your relationship, there are 5 tips that can help you and your partner have a healthier and happier life together without relationship counseling.

  1. Choose appropriate timing and a suitable environment to address a concern. If you choose to approach your partner at the moment he/she has returned home from work or when you are surrounded by people, it is unlikely the discussion will be productive.
  2. Focus on one issue at a time. Naturally, it’s tempting to bring up other issues that have been on your mind as a way to vent or as a defense against something for which you may feel guilt. If you notice the discussion expanding to other issues, direct the focus back towards the initial concern, while earmarking other topics that require attention.
  3. Use the pronouns “I,” “me” and “my” when you are describing your feelings to your partner. If you focus on your partner’s behavior by using the words “you” and “your,” your partner may become defensive. Once your partner feels he/she is being verbally attacked, the discussion will quickly turn into an argument, thereby closing the door to effective communication.
  4. Pay attention to your nonverbal cues.  Avoid standing over your partner or pointing your finger to promote a sense of coming together during the discussion rather than inciting feelings within your partner of being at odds with one another.
  5. Never use derogatory language. Resorting to name-calling or talking down to your partner will only lead to an argument during which nothing can be resolved. If you begin to feel irritated with your partner’s responses, it’s time to take a break from the discussion.

When a couple cannot achieve a healthy communication style on their own, it may be helpful to seek couples counseling. An experienced couple’s counselor can give you and your partner indispensable tools that foster effective communication and improve your overall relationship satisfaction. If you feel your relationship can benefit from the expertise of an expert counselor, please contact Jan Rakoff, LCSW, at 858-481-0425 or use the contact form to request an appointment today.

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