If you've ever been in a relationship, you already know that it's a lot of work. If you plan on being with someone for the long haul, you'll likely face some difficult situations. And no matter how much you love one another, the way you communicate can often determine whether or not your relationship can withstand those tough times. You aren't born with good communication skills, but thankfully, they can be learned. So if you're looking for ways to make sure the lines of communication are strong in your relationship, you should know some of the habits of couples who have good communication skills.
Being honest, staying on topic, and opening up to other opinions are just a few of the ways you can maintain healthy communication with your partner. Whether you're trying to decide what to eat for dinner or whether or not to purchase a new home, these important skills will serve you well as you work through your issues. If you're going to share your life with someone, you should be able to share your feelings. So start practicing these good communication habits with your partner, and while you're at it, you might want to try some of them out on your boss and your parents.
1. They Don't Make Universal Statements
Universal statements are comments that tend to generalize a person's behavior or character in a negative way, according to Psychology Today. Saying things like "you always" or "you never" to your partner can be harmful because it focuses on what's wrong with the person and doesn't allow for room for growth or change.
2. They Listen
In a heated argument, you're often thinking about your response while your partner is speaking. But rather than worrying about your comeback, it can help to be in the moment and listen to what your partner is trying to say, as Psych Central mentioned.
3. They Validate Each Other's Feelings
Everyone is entitled to their own feelings, which is why you should do your best not to belittle your partner or try to diminish the importance of their feelings — even when you don't agree. As the previous Psychology Today article mentioned, when a person's negative feelings are invalidated, they will likely get stronger and create a barrier in the relationship.
4. They Add Humor
Even serious discussions don't always have to sound like a business meeting. In fact, your partner's sense of humor is probably one of the things that attracted you to them in the first place. According to eHarmony's, adding humor to your communication can diffuse a difficult situation.
5. They Are Honest
Sometimes the truth is uncomfortable. But in a relationship, honesty is extremely important. According to the aforementioned Psych Central article, small lies can evolve into bigger lies, which can have dangerous consequences in your relationship. Even if you think the truth will be hard for your partner to hear, they will appreciate it in the long run.
6. They Speak Up
Unless you are in a relationship with a mind reader, there's no way for your partner to know how you are feeling if you're silent. According to the aforementioned eHarmony post, it's your responsibility to tell your partner what you need in a relationship.
7. They Stay In The Present
When arguing about finances, don't allow talk about housework and in-laws to find their way into the conversation. When communicating with your partner, try to stay focused on the topic at hand. According to the Psych Central article, arguments that stray off the topic tend to escalate and can get out of control.
8. They Are Flexible
You may think you have the best idea, but being open to other's opinions is an important part of successful communication, according to the eHarmony article. Not only will you let your partner know that their ideas matter, you may actually discover a new or better way of getting things done.