5 Ways to Build Your Couples Communication Skill Set

Fairy tales and rom-com movies sent us on a search for soul mates and happily ever after. Social media blurs the line between real and fake. Meanwhile, the foundation of a happy relationship has not changed. Health communication is the rock on which you can build your connection. Rough patches and disagreements are inevitable but manageable when you have solid communication skills to lean on.

The compatibility and longevity of a romantic bond depend on how well you interact. If there is a secret formula for negotiating the challenges, this is it. Everyone has their own communication style, but with a diligent commitment, a couple can find their own specific language.

Validation is a Powerful Starting Point

Each individual is unique, but there are universal human threads that connect us all. For example, who doesn’t appreciate being validated? When partners in a relationship validate each other, it builds trust and allows room for vulnerability. This isn’t about pretending to agree on everything. Rather, you can maintain respect and love even when you see things differently.

Communication is the avenue for expressing validation. It’s how you remind each other that mutual respect is present regardless of personal opinions. As you go through the list below, keep in mind that validation can be the glue that holds it all together.

5 Ways to Build Your Couples Communication Skill Set

1. Learn How to Read the Room

Even when something feels urgent to you, it doesn’t mean you can push everything aside and focus on it. To set yourself up for communication success, accept that there are good and bad times to have a discussion. Work together to set the conditions in advance to maximize positive vibes.

2. Put Away Your Devices

Both of you deserve each other’s full attention. Productive communication means the focus is on each other. Even when the subject is contentious, you can make eye contact and maintain healthy body language.

3. Use “I” Statements

Accusations — or anything that sounds like an accusation — are a fast track to conflict. When bringing up a point of contention, start that sentence with the word “I.” “I feel invalidated when” is far more accommodating than “You don’t validate me.” Also, words like “always” and “never” leave no more room for discussion.

4. Listen With Love and Purpose

Allow your partner to finish their sentences. Avoid formulating your response until you’ve heard them out and processed their point. Don’t assume you know what they’re going to say; stay curious about what you can learn from and about your lover.

If something feels unclear to you, do not make assumptions. Request clarification before reacting. If either of you needs a break, request one. This goes back to reading the room. Sometimes, the biggest need is a little time and space.

5. Do Not Compete

Communication, in general, is not a contest. When you’re talking with your partner, competition should be far from your mind. The goal isn’t to win. You both want to resolve a situation, deepen your connection, and feel good about moving forward. If you notice your body language, word choices, or verbal tone escalating into confrontation, this is the ideal time to acknowledge it and take a break, as mentioned above in #4.

There Will Be Times When a Communication Coach is Indispensable

Couples in healthy relationships can still fall into counterproductive patterns. That’s why counseling can be vital to nip dysfunction in the bud. In a therapy room, under an unbiased guide’s eyes, both partners can voice concerns, make suggestions, and find new solutions. If your communication skill set needs some refining, let’s talk soon.

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