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Tips For Effective Communication

These are just some of the things we would work on together in session where you will get a direct experience and get a fully understanding how the lack of awareness to these things can impact negatively on your relationship.


Set Aside Time


In our busy world it is easy to become disconnected from your partner, so setting aside 15 minutes at some point during the day, where there are no distractions, will give you the opportunity to stay in touch with what is happening in your partner's world. If you want your relationship to remain close, then you need to make your relationship a priority, the same way you do for other things that are important to you e.g. your fitness, diet. When there is an important issue that needs to be discussed, it is always best to set aside enough time so that it can be discussed fully without distractions.


Be a Good Listener


If you can become good listener then you have a much better chance of being close to your partner and creating real intimacy. A good listener is someone who:



  • Keeps comfortable eye contact

  • Lets the other person speak without interruption

  • Has an open and non-defensive body posture (arms and legs not crossed)

  • Is curious and genuinely interested in the other's viewpoint


Be Sure What You Say Has Been Heard Correctly


Open and clear communication is a vital part of your relationship, however, there are times when you make the mistake of thinking that your partner understands you and knows what you are expressing. Unfortunately this does not guarantee correct interpretation of your message and misunderstandings can easily occur and lead to hurt, anger and confusion. It is important to be very clear about what you are communicating, and it is a good idea to make an occasional check with your partner and get them to reiterate the message, to ensure that what you have expressed has been heard correctly.


Hearing & Feeling


Endeavour to communicate compassionately simply by shifting your focus from only ‘hearing’ what your partner is saying to also ‘feeling’ what they are saying. This way you have your heart present in conversation, not just your mind. This will almost guarantee that your relationship will not just survive, but thrive!


Don't be Critical


If you have a problem with your partner, the discussion should revolve around what you are not happy about and should not be a attack on your partner's character, which will be heard as a personal criticism. Criticism only creates a negative environment which is not conducive to resolving the problem. Make sure the focus is on your feelings rather than directing accusations at your partner. This can be done by using "I" statements. For instance you might say "I'm feeling disappointed that you never offer to help me clean up after dinner" rather than "You never help me because you are a lazy slob".




Taking up a defensive stance in the middle of conflict might seem like a natural response, however, this is not helpful to your relationship. When you become defensive you will usually experience a great deal of tension and it can be difficult to hear what is being said, as you will be too busy compiling our own response. If you deny responsibility, make excuses, or make a complaint in response to another, you are being defensive.


How Reactive You Can Become


Become aware of your own reactivity and when this occurs. Reactivity is speaking or acting without awareness of the consequences of your behaviour. Think of a time when you became angry in the heat of the moment and lashed out at your partner. Think about the horrible things you said and the similar response you received from your partner. In the grip of reactivity you can act impulsively, mindlessly, or automatically. When you say things in the heat of the moment you often have regrets and subtly know that those words can’t be undone and that they have damaged your relationship.


One method to control your reactivity would be to take a break from the situation, take a deep breath and calm down. This is called self-soothing and is a skill that you can practise on a daily basis when you become anxious and frustrated. In other words, you give yourself the opportunity to connect with your values and true feelings around the issue, so that you don’t behave in ways that you might regret later.


Don’t Walk Out On Your Partner


Sometimes discussions with your partner don’t go the way you had hoped. Discussions can become heated or circular, and it can be tempting to storm out and slam the door. Walking away without some indication of a plan to address the problem only serves to exacerbate the situation and leaves the problem unresolved. It also sends out a negative message giving the impression that your partner’s viewpoint is not important.


The Problem With Blaming


The process of determining blame rarely yields an answer to your problems. Although you are aware of your partner’s impact on your own thinking, feeling and behaviour, you are probably not conscious of how you impact on your partner most of the time. Avoid seeing your partner as the one who is primarily responsible for your unhappiness and struggles. Reflect on how your own behaviour may be contributing, even though this may be a challenging task.


Express Whats on Your Mind


Don't Suppress It


Whatever is on your mind it is always best to talk about it before it festers into something much bigger. As well as damaging your health, not expressing how you feel often leads to frustration, misunderstandings, conflict and resentment. What is really bugging you? Take the time to crystallise your thoughts so that you don’t end up venting your frustration at a later time inappropriately.



Most of the things that you fight about are usually not the real reason you are upset. It is mostly not about ‘putting the toilet seat down', but it is more likely to be about carrying feelings of hurt or disappointment because you have not expressed the underlying issue of what is really on your mind (or in your heart).



These feelings usually have the effect of making you distance yourself from your partner......and this is not what you really want. It is important to always be open to exploring what needs to be shared, even if it feels uncomfortable. Talking about how you feel and not blaming the other person will help you be heard.




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