Have you ever noticed how, during the course of a conversation with your SO, you may not get answers to all the questions you ask? And have you noticed how when you ask a single question at a time, it somehow helps with your communication, keeping things simple and straightforward? This is perhaps because men are wired differently, and what may seem like an inquisition to them, is overwhelming and too much to handle.
So how can you improve your communication to serve your relationship better? Here are five simple rules to follow to help improve your communication and strengthen your bond:
Don’t Make AssumptionsWhat may seem sensible to you (take for example washing a dish immediately after use) may not necessarily be the same for your partner. After all, it’s about perspective. Having a conversation about certain aspects in your relationship dynamic, and then coming to some middle ground, is the best way to avoid making assumptions about certain outcomes, or jumping to conclusions. So, whether your partner’s messiness bothers you, or your inability to cook bothers him, talking things out will leave you with little room for misunderstandings.
Don’t Be JudgementalNo matter what your partner tells you about a certain difficulty or issue they’re facing, it’s important to keep an open mind and listen without judgement. Reserve the right to give your opinion after they have asked you for your thoughts. Listen to the whole story, mull over what you’ve heard, and then express your thoughts in a clear and unbiased manner. The same applies to when you and your SO aren’t agreeing on a certain issue. This is when you should create a space where they can voice their concerns without feeling like they may not be heard. And the same applies to you.
Take An Interest In Their LivesGiven the fact that most couples are living stressful lives, given erratic schedules, multiple deadlines, and everything in between, there’s a good chance that quality time may not really be a priority. It’s important to take time out and spend it together. And given that most couples are co-working at home, quality time can be coordinating your lunch hour or breaks. However, at the end of the work day, it’s ideal to shut off all devices and focus on each other. Ask your partner about their day or that difficult meeting you overheard. Asking them how they handled a tough situation that they may have spoken about earlier is a great way to show your partner you’re there. You can either offer help or advice, or simply listen. Be there the way they need you to be.
Offer Positive ReinforcementAny difficult situation can be overcome with a smile and positive attitude. So whether your SO is going through a difficulty, be the positive reinforcement for them. This simply means, do all you can to ease your partner’s troubles and reassure them that no matter what, they can always count on you. Even in an emotionally difficult situation (like the loss of a family member), assure them that you’re around, and find a way to comfort them, and make them look at the brighter side.
Show GratitudeThere’s no denying that the longer you’re with your partner, the more you get comfortable and take them for granted. This is why, it’s important to regularly show your partner that you are grateful and appreciative of their presence in your life. Saying please and thank you can go a long way in telling your partner how you feel, and in turn, won’t seem like a chore or ‘something you have to do’ when your partner needs you to pick up their dry cleaning, or drop off some letters at the post office. Moreover, when your partner does something nice for you, say thank you and compliment them on a job done well. It’s the little things that make things better.