Effective communication is the bedrock of a happy marriage. Without healthy communication, everyday issues are magnified on a much greater level and more serious problems will ensue. Here are five communication tips to help ensure a more successful partnership:
SPEAK IN A NON-ACCUSATORY TONE: Disagreements in a marriage are inevitable. However, the tone of your voice when dealing with confrontation sets the stage for how the discussion will develop and resolve itself. Practice using non-accusatory words and tone to foster goodwill and start the conversation off on a positive note.
WRITE A LOVE NOTE: In today’s modern age of communication, the process of letter writing is a lost art. Partners can harness the power of this traditional method of communication to effectively reach out and take the time to truly connect in a personal way. Not only does letter writing harken back to more intimate times, but it also gives the writer the opportunity to really think about what it is that needs to be said rather than letting emotion get in the way.
PRACTICE ACTIVE LISTENING: One of the most challenging aspects of developing a positive communication plan is learning how to be an active listener. By making a concerted effort to slow down, focus, and listen with an open heart and mind, partners will develop trust in communication. Be intentional and purposeful about listening to your partner’s concerns and feelings so that lines of communication will organically open.
ASK OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS: Asking open-ended questions will help to ensure that your partner feels as if their opinions are valued and truly being heard. By avoiding yes and no questions, you can foster more interaction through thoughtful discussion. This interaction will yield better results in the area of communication.
ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE: The cornerstone of effective communication is taking the time to show appreciation rather than merely using communication as a tool to criticize. By practicing an attitude of gratitude toward your partner, you will naturally foster a sense of appreciation within your marriage. This attitude will spill over into all areas of the partnership, improving more than just the communication.
Learning how to communicate effectively takes time and practice. The more you practice, the more automatic these approaches will become and the more success you will have.