Six Common Communication Mistakes Couples Make

Posted on August 5, 2017

Communication is extremely important in a romantic relationship. However, simply having a conversation is insufficient. It's important to be aware of the way you talk and listen to your partner. Avoiding these common mistakes will make your relationship stronger.

1) Not paraphrasing what your partner is telling you. Don't just respond with nods and sounds like “mhm” and “yea”. Paraphrase what they say instead. For example, if they are talking about a bad day at work, acknowledge that they are frustrated and paraphrase the reasons they gave about why they feel that way. Doing this helps you become a better listener and makes your partner feel that you are giving them your full attention and empathise with them. This is especially important when an argument arises. Other than paraphrasing, you can ask questions like “Did I hear that right?” to clarify further. Paraphrasing and clarifying helps with understanding.

2) Focusing on the person instead of the issue. When you get frustrated at your partner, avoid saying things like “you’re so annoying“ and “you never listen” as they may feel hurt. Try talking about the event instead and explain how it makes you feel bad. Using statements that begin with “I” also removes the blame from the other party and encourages your partner to empathise with you, rather than become defensive.

3) Not showing your appreciation enough. Showing your appreciation cultivates a warm, loving relationship. This can be as simple as telling them they cooked a delicious meal, or that their outfit looks good. It may not seem that important. However, relationship experts say that constant words of appreciation is pivotal for a good relationship.

4) Having serious conversations while being emotional. It is good to be rational when discussing important issues like money, marriage and family. You can use some techniques to minimise your emotions. For example, writing down main discussion points before the conversation, or doing something calming like yoga. Clearing your mind before these heavy, emotional discussions will likely get you more positive outcomes.

5) You hear what they are saying, but you don’t listen. We often want to say what we think instead of listening to what the other person has to say. We may jump to conclusions, or complete their sentences. Make a strong effort to focus on your partner and fully understand what they are saying. After they have said their piece, think carefully about what they have said before giving a response. Effective listening may be hard to master, but you will get better with practice.

6) You don’t change your own communication practices. Lead by example - change your communication habits and your partner will pick it up as well. It also inspires them to change their communication habits to more effective ones.

Good communication needs self-awareness and a clear mind. Take some time to think about how you are talking to your partner. Ask yourself questions like “Do I use loving words?” and “Do I actually listen to what he/she says?’ and try to improve on your communication. It will not easy, but it will greatly improve your relationship with your loved one.

Category(s):Couple Counseling, Relationships & Marriage

Source material from Psych Central

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