It’s no secret that we as humans crave connections with others. We love to talk about ourselves, and we love to see our needs being met. The majority of our life, we tend to be egotistical creatures. While focusing on yourself has its moments, this selfish behavior that’s all “me, me me!” can be the reason for your downfall, be it mentally or physically.
When we enter relationships, it’s important to remember that the other person(s) needs affection, love, and acknowledgement. That’s the foundation of most relationships. For relationships to strive, both parties need to give more than they receive, which ironically always leaves both of them satisfied.
Here a few tips to help you engage in better conversations with your partner and improve your communication skills for a healthier relationship.
Acknowledge the Miscommunication
Do you know what’s worse than not communicating? Not acknowledging that miscommunication.
There are no perfect relationships out there. There is no ideal marriage; there is always more that goes on behind the curtains than what most people see. You don’t realize you have a miscommunication problem until someone finally breaks down, or worse, the relationship ends with no closure. If you believe you or your partner are guilty of not communicating, you need to acknowledge this. The first step to continual communication is first realizing there was none in the first place.
Prioritize Their Needs
See how I said needs and not wants. Every person is different, and your partner might have special needs that need fulfillment every day. You knew this before entering the relationship, otherwise, you wouldn’t be there.
This need can come in the physical form (sex) or more on the emotional side (love affirming). If you feel like your partner is slacking on fulfilling your needs, the best thing you can do is remind them. Who knows? Maybe you’re slacking on their behalf, which will open the door to more dialogue and understanding.
Harsh Honesty Is More Than Ok
As stated previously, no relationship is perfect. We understand that, and we love that because if a relationship has no obstacles, something is off. Naval Ravikant said, “Honesty plus love will get you through most situations.”
Sugarcoated white lies may seem to satisfy your partner in the short term, but if you’re in it for the long haul, you might want to change it up. Surely there is something your partner does that annoys you or makes you lose your shit. It’s okay; it’s not the end of the world. A more straightforward method is informing them what they’re doing wrong, why it’s bothering you, and how both of you can work together to prevent it in the future. Teamwork makes the dream work. Or in this case, the relationship.
Put Your Phone Down and Listen
Pay attention to your partner. Sit next to your partner. When your partner is speaking to you, listen. There is power in listening! That’s literally the key lesson in any self-development book.
When you listen to your partner, you are confirming you care about the problem at hand. Imagine speaking to someone, and every two minutes, they check their phone? What does that tell you? Other than that person being incredibly rude, it tells you they’re not interested in what you have to say. How do you expect anything to work if you don’t pay attention and listen?
Can’t Budge Holding a Grudge
You’ve had issues in the past, that’s understandable. If you’ve moved past them without fully resolving them, then you’ve got a dilemma.
If a few issues are left unresolved, then all issues will be left unresolved. If you’re in a relationship where you feel like bringing up past concerns to resolve them will create more predicaments than you’re in the wrong relationship. It hurts to hear, but that’s the truth.
Couples regularly bring issues to light so they can acknowledge their faults, find a solution, and move on. You can’t expect to move on, let alone be open with your partner if you refuse to identify a relationship’s difficulties. Grudges are never let go by silence alone.
Grudges are never let go by silence alone.
Create Healthier Habits Together
Here are a few habits you can build with your partner that will bring you closer and help grow the relationship: cook breakfast together, workout at the same gym, go night jogging, journaling, meditation, have an “honest hour,” plan a date night every week, and so much more.
Why is spending time together so important? Two researchers from the Minnesota Population Center at the University of Minnesota have found that married couples in the U.S. are happier and more fulfilled when they are together than apart, underscoring the importance of spending time with a spouse for individual well-being.
Appreciate Your Partner
Easy enough, right? If you genuinely love them, it won’t be that difficult, I promise. This has been a life-changer for my partner and me.
Personally, I want nothing more than to be appreciated as a wife and mother. A study of divorce conducted by law professor Margaret Brinig and economist Douglas Allen found that the number one reason women leave their partners is that they feel unappreciated or ignored (Source). Why do you think men leave? They feel neglected. It’s a two-way street.
Take some today to express to your partner how important they are to you. You’ll be stunned at their reaction.