#7 Don’t judge.
You may not agree with what your partner is saying. And you may not even understand their perspective. Or you may think they’re opinion is way off.
But you know what? That’s okay.
Remember, your partner is an individual with unique perspectives.
Communication Tip: Even if you don’t agree with what they’re saying, you must respect their point of view. When you prioritize this during the conversation, they’ll feel more comfortable opening up to you.
#8 Don’t take it personally.
- Try not to identify yourself with every statement your partner makes.
- Be mindful of what they are saying and understand it for what it is.
- Take yourself out of the equation.
- Try not to think about how the context of the conversation effects you.
Communication Tip: When you associate yourself with what your partner is saying, it turns the conversation into one about you. Understandably, they may become frustrated with this and clam up again.
#9 Try regularly.
Don’t try to instigate deep and meaningful conversations every time you see your partner.
For someone who tends to be quieter and more reserved, this can be a nightmare.
Communication Tip: Instead, check-in regularly but not constantly. Let them know you’re available to talk when they want to, but don’t make them feel forced. For your partner, knowing you’re available when they’re ready can be a significant thing.
#10 Don’t tell your partner how you think they feel.
Try not to start a conversation with “You seem sad.” or something along those lines.
You must allow the conversation to flow freely.
When you tell them how you think they are feeling, it doesn’t allow the conversation to open up. Instead, your partner will spend their time explaining how they do or don’t feel a particular way. This can allow for a pretty narrow conversation.
Communication Tip: Maybe try asking, “How do you feel?”. Doing this will allow them to divulge their true feelings without outside influence. This allows for a more genuine conversation.
#11 Let a therapist’s help.
An experienced therapist can help by providing a safe space for you both as a couple to learn effective communication.
There may be something that’s holding your partner back from opening up; Perhaps an experience or trauma.
Their withdrawal could also be a result of how you’re communicating with them.
While your intentions may be in the right place, their lack of vulnerability with you could be in response to something you’re unknowingly doing.
Tip: With couples therapy, the real root of the partnership problem can be discovered.
Do you need some guidance on how to communicate better with your partner? Let’s set up some time to chat. Together, we’ll open the door to better communication between you and your loved one.
Dawn Wiggins, Ed.S., Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist