Communication in Relationships
Communication is an important element in creating a relationship that is long lasting, satisfying, and fulfilling.
Communication is a skill that is learnt. Our culture, family, society, and past experiences influence how we function in the world and how we communicate with others. We communicate differently and develop various ways of interacting depending on circumstances, situations, or the people we're with. For example we do not use the same style of communication with work colleagues, friends, family members and our lover. We modify our behaviour and our communication style depending on our environment.
Creating the foundations of a good, intimate relationship is about developing an understanding of ourselves, each other and the different ways in which we communicate. We all have an innate need to be heard and understood, especially by the ones we love.
Common barriers to communication are criticism, sarcasm, dominance, and defensiveness. Sometimes these behaviours are used outside of our awareness and over time may become a habitual way of interacting or responding.
Conflict is a fact of life. Expressing and appreciating difference leads to developing a deeper understanding of self and other as well as enhancing mutual respect and increasing closeness. If you find yourself slipping into an argument try to keep the row healthy (yes arguing and expressing difference is healthy in a relationship!).
- Own your emotions by using "I" statements
- Share the experience of your feelings and reactions with your partner
- Avoid blaming.
For a relationship to be successful each partner needs to get their core needs met. It can sometimes take patience and understanding to find a way to communicate these to your partner but an important part of being in a relationship is being able to share. Encourage your partner to do the same. It is your responsibility to identify your needs in the relationship and take the steps in order for it to be possible to get some of them met. Some questions that you could ask yourself are:
- What is it that I want out of the relationship?
- Is it realistic?
- How do I feel loved?
- How do I show my love?
Quite often couples do not realize that the way in which they show love to their partner may not be a way in which their partner feels loved. Being able to communicate in a relationship can assist in creating a loving, caring, fulfilling and satisfying partnership.
If you would like to learn more about increasing effective communication in your relationship or if you are experiencing relationship difficulties Victoria can be contacted by telephone or email.