Most healthy and loving relationships in family life today that have lasting power have a similar common denominator: healthy communication patterns. Talking through everything and talking about everything is the key to what holds healthy family relationships together. Communication can be difficult and messy, but it is worth the work- especially when you experience the new strength that healthy communication will help bring to your family life.
Learning how to talk to each other takes time and practice and can be developed in family life day to day activities. Knowing how to communicate with your spouse or significant other when in an argument is of vital importance. Arguments are when insults and bitter comments can fly. By learning healthy communication tools, you will know how to talk, how to argue well, and how to communicate to increase your bond and be a positive example to those around you.
Best Practices for Good Communication:
Listening is just as important to healthy communication as talking is. Letting your spouse feel loved and heard will increase his self-confidence and self-worth within the relationship. Communication involves both people in the relationship in equal proportions. Both people having a role in the relationship, in how decisions are made, and feeling equally heard and cared for is a hallmark of a healthy relationship.
Being actively engaged in the conversation helps communication patterns as well. Encouraging statements such as “Uh huh,” “Tell me more,” or “Really?” lets your partner know that you are involved and care about what he is saying. Eye contact goes hand in hand with this practice. If someone is silent and looking in other directions, it gives the impression that he doesn’t care or is not paying attention to what is being said.
Asking your partner about his day first is another best practice of communication in relationships. Rather than jumping in with details of your own day, take the time to hear about him first. Relationships function well and in healthy ways when both people place the needs of the other before their own. Asking about their day and taking the time to hear how they are doing is a way to put that into practice.
Validate feelings rather than fix them. If your partner is sharing a frustrating experience, it is easy to want to jump into the conversation with a solution. Sometimes that is not the best answer or the answer that they are looking for. Sometimes your partner just needs a sounding board, a blank slate to vocalize and process an experience. Rather than imparting your wisdom into a situation, validate her feelings and move on. This can be done through statements such as: “I’m sorry that happened,” “That must have made you feel terrible,” or “Why do you think the meeting went that way?”
Repeating what you heard is another best practice of communication. This serves as a check for both the speaker and the listener that what is trying to be communicated, actually is. Use phrases such as “What I’m hearing you say is,” or “So what happened was” or “It hurt you because.” Repeating what you heard is a great way to ensure that both partners are on the same page.
Good and Healthy Communication is Valuable in Relationships
Working on communication in your marriage, family life or in your relationships will pay huge role in the long-run. Healthy communication patterns are a common denominator in what’s missing in family life today. It can be a difficult aspect of a relationship to work on, but it is worth the work. In the day-to-day conversations, in the difficult moments, or in modeling communication in your children. Healthy communication is a vital and valuable aspect of any relationship.