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Tips for Communicating with your Partner

Photo Cred: Canva

Written by Jessy Pucker LMSW

February 18th 2022

If you spend time researching ‘what makes a strong relationship’ online, you might find yourself overwhelmed by the amount of varying information. This is a result of the fact that there is no magic solution to create a strong relationship. Each one is complex and different, because people are complex and different. Our needs vary due to our experiences in the past, and wants for the future.

Good communication can lead to a more positive relationship. Not all communication has to be done in conflict. It can also be effective to say how you feel when things are good. The more we know about our partner’s desires, the better we are able to function as a couple.

Communication can be helpful in navigating conflict and relationship maintenance. It is one in a list of many tools that build relationships. Before we can express to our partners how we feel, it is important that we understand these feelings ourselves. Below are some examples of positive communication techniques:

Self-Knowledge

The first step to good communication is being honest with yourself. Expressing our feelings requires us to know our feelings. Give yourself a moment to name the emotion you are feeling before you express it to your partner. This helps guide the conversation towards the heart of the message.

‘I feel…’ Statements

One way to effectively communicate your feelings is to frame your emotions in ‘I feel…’ statements. This helps to center your emotions in the conversation. It ensures that you are speaking for yourself, rather than about the other person. If you are feeling angry with your partner’s cleaning habits, an example would be to say, “I feel angry when you do not do your dishes.”, instead of, “You always leave the house a mess”. When we use ‘I feel’ statements, we are talking about our emotions rather than our partner’s flaws.

Identify Communication Styles

There are a lot of ways to communicate a feeling. These include: body language, direct words, or action-oriented expression. Getting a sense of your partner’s communication style is important because it creates a roadmap for future interactions. It allows us to understand how to best get our message or feelings across.

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