Healthy Relationship Habits: Communication

1.    Communicate daily.  Communicating daily ensure you are in tune to your partners latest interests, ideas, thoughts, and emotions which give greater opportunity for connection and intimacy.

2.    Learn to listen. By listening, you are able to summarize what your partner said and how they feel in about two sentences when they have completely stopped speaking.

3.    Check in.  Randomly inquiry about your partner.  Showing interest in unexpected way, shows you care, are curious, and want to included in your partner’s daily life whether mundane or not.

4.    “I” statements – I think, I feel, I prefer.  By taking ownership of your wants, needs, and emotions, your partner is less likely to become defensive.

5.     Express emotions.  Use specific feelings and actions that instilled the anger, hurt, sadness, joy, or happiness.

6.     Don’t blame. Take a moment to declare what your role may have been in the situation. No matter the situation, everyone involved played a part.  Taking responsibility for your function creates an atmosphere for safety and expression.

7.    Share, get to know each other, ask questions, be curious, and unleash childhood experiences, share pictures, memories, and stories.  Sharing small bits of you ensures safety and trust over time.

8.    Speak what is true to you. Stop, reflect for a moment, determine what is true for you in the situation and speak your truth kindly.  Identify a specific event or topic and use “When this happened, I feel/ felt, because I, and I (clarifying your requests, what you’d like to see in the future, actions you plan to take, and when, and what you will do to take care of yourself), and I appreciate.  Finish with kindness.

9.    Never go to bed angry!  Clear up the argument before hitting the sheets.  Come to a

Couple_sitting_outdoor_table_talking

compromise or determine a time and place to reconvene the discussion.  Make-up sex just may be the perfect way to move past an argument.

10.   Be Specific in your communication.  Discuss one topic at a time and don’t move on to the next until the first one is resolved.

11.   Remind your partner why you fell in love with them.  Describe specific things you love about them.

12.   Show appreciation for who they are and what they do.  Again be specific in sharing your appreciation. “I appreciate it when you….”

13.   No Yelling.  The louder you yell, the less the other person listens to you! Speak in a warm and loving tone calmly and respectfully and more likely your partner will listen.

14.   Use preferences – avoid demands. Ex: Instead of “You need to clean the scattered newspaper in the living room tonight” try “I feel anxious because the large stack of newspaper in the living room is distracting.  I would really appreciate it if you could find a secluded place to store the newspapers tonight.”

15.   Use eye contact. Think how it feels to be spoken to while someone is looking at you versus looking at the newspaper.

16.   Do not give unsolicited advice. When you know you partner is having a rough day, just listen and don’t try to solve their problem.  They are fully capable of solving their own issues.  A good listening ear may be all the help that is required.

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