Communication either makes or breaks most relationships. If it’s primarily about everyday, “surfacey” topics (“How were the kids?” “How was work?”), you’re not really communicating about the important stuff. You will find that as you become more aware of how you communicate, you will be able to take more control over what happens between you.
Some people find it difficult to express their emotions. It is often the things that cannot be talked about that hurt the most. Some people just need to be listened and we’re often so afraid of not being heard, we rush to keep talking. Listening genuinely to your partner and understand deeply what they need encourages them to open up to you.
Staying focused on the topic at hand is better than morphing into a discussion about everything. Arguments tend to veer off and grow larger and larger. One party needs to take the effort to de-escalate the argument.
Often, an argument is heated up simply because we want to be ‘right’ and when our partner doesn’t cede the point and back off, it is leading the relationship to nowhere. If being “right” is more important to you than your partner’s happiness, then perhaps you have not found the right partner.
Humor helps lighten everyday frustrations and helps puts things into perspective more gently than other methods. Playfulness reminds us that even as adults, we all have a side to us that enjoys fun and taking a break from the seriousness of work and other demands made on us.
Nobody is a perfect communicator all the time. Better communication, however, starts with one person making the effort to improve, which often encourages the other to come along for the ride.