Looking for mindful ways to improve relationship communication? Did you know open communication is the greatest predictor of relationship pleasure? However, who has time for a meaningful discussion when they are racing to work, working a long day, picking up the kids from school, and then going to soccer practice? Our schedules may be exhausting!
At the end of a hard day, having an open, honest talk about your relationship may seem like the last thing you want to do. And when you do sit down with your spouse to discuss, you may find yourself nodding and repeating “uh-huh” more than being present.
While a half-hearted reaction is reasonable, it does not foster closeness, and when you pretend to listen, your partner will feel unheard. If you are too exhausted or if your requirements conflict with those of your spouse, no genuine connection is possible. The trick is to be intentional about establishing genuine relationships and scheduling quality time with your spouse.
Effective communication is a learned talent. And, like any other ability, it can be honed with practice. By using the three strategies below, you may cultivate awareness and be present with your spouse while communicating thoughtfully. These easy mini-skills may aid in the development (or strengthening) of a pleasant, healthy connection between you and your spouse.
Three Tips to Improve Relationship Communication
TIP 1: Develop a Daily Communication Ritual
The most effective strategy to improve your communication abilities is to practice them on a regular basis. The Gottman Institute’s experts encourage daily time set aside to connect with your spouse, rather than going through the motions on “relationship autopilot.”
Communicate with your spouse, not simply chat to them. Commit to being more present in the moment each day when listening, speaking, and spending time with your spouse. This requires you to schedule periods when your phones are turned off and placed away.
Provide your companion with your undivided attention. Listen attentively rather than nodding while you play badminton, your mind racing with thoughts of work, the kids, or what you are going to prepare for supper. Your spouse will sense the difference between a focused discussion and one that is conducted automatically, and this subtle distinction will make you both feel understood and loved.
TIP 2: Empathy Can Assist Your Partner in Feeling Heard
Empathy is a basic human need. While we may believe that empathy comes easily, we are not born emotionally intelligent, empathetic, or resilient—we must learn to be!
Empathy is a skill that takes practice. Fortunately, empathy is a habit that can be developed and strengthened daily. Each time you interact with your spouse, you have the choice between comprehension and indifference, engagement and inactivity. In your everyday talks, set the purpose (i.e., make a conscious decision) to convey empathy to your spouse.
According to UC Berkeley, the two key stages in developing empathy are vulnerability and radical listening. Radical listening is consciously choosing to be aware and present while your spouse speaks (as discussed in the first point! ), while vulnerability entails having the bravery to express your thoughts to your partner. Our empathic talents are a mix of these two abilities, and we must improve both in order to create empathy in our relationships.
TIP 3: Set Your Judgment Aside While You Listen to Your Partner
We are all familiar with the frustration of sitting down for a meaningful chat with a partner only to have them shut down or have nothing to say. Nothing brings discourse to a halt more quickly than criticism and judgment. It is vital to provide a secure atmosphere for your spouse, since this encourages them to open up and communicate.
Make a conscious effort to see your spouse and their needs positively. Suspend judgment and be interested. You may produce favorable sentiments for them by engaging in a deliberate practice of loving-kindness.
To assist you get in the correct frame of mind, it’s beneficial to recall certain qualities you like about your spouse. By recalling pleasant experiences and charming characteristics, you may create a more real encounter and bring out the best in your companion.
Self-Assess the Effects of Mindful Communication
Strengthening your relationship’s foundation through honing your mindful communication skills is critical. As a consequence, you and your spouse will feel more connected, and your relationship will grow more robust to setbacks.
Mindful communication teaches you how to handle relationship difficulties with understanding and respect. When you are linked and united as a pair, you can boldly face any issues that emerge.