Is Your Relationship Lagging? How Boost your Communication

Is Your Relationship Lagging?  How Boost your Communication

            There isn’t anything much more exhilarating than the feeling of a new relationship.  The extra pep in your step, smiling at your phone, the butterflies before date night and the safety of companionship.  Relationships are major sources of comfort and happiness in our lives, but they are also major sources of stress.  One of the most common complaints in couples is “difficulty communicating” or “lack of communication”.  How do couples reconnect when the communication is disconnected?  Here are a few tips to get back online.

            Prioritize talking to your partner.  In a world where we are connected all the time we often lose sight of meaningful communication with our partner.  Schedule time in your calendar to discuss your day, important topics or the latest binge worthy streaming show.  Ensuring that this time is as prioritized as meetings, sports practices and other appointments helps foster a sense that the relationship is important.

            When discussing difficult topics or feelings utilize “I” statements.  “I feel like I am being ignored” is much more effective than “You are ignoring me”.  Utilizing I statements opens the conversation to address the behavior that causes the feeling and to also hear what the behavior means to your partner. Be receptive to what each other say and how they are asking for their needs to be met.  This will increase the satisfaction in communication.

            Do not sleep on problems instead use the 20/4 rule.  The 20/4 rule is that each partner is given at least 20 to cool down when discussing a very heated topic but wait no more than 4 hours to revisit the conversation.  Twenty minutes is the amount of time it takes for your brain and body to regulate and return to calmness and after four hours the topic may no longer seem like a problem.  Tackling the issue using the 20/4 rule allows each partner to be able to use their rational brain and also not have something dismissed that is actually causing a problem. 

            Last, but not least, be honest.  Tell your partner if something is bothering you.  Even the longest relationships do not equal the ability to mind read.  Telling your partner when you are excited, surprised, frustrated or angry allows them to learn more about you.  It allows for intimate conversations to blossom, and it increases the ability for mutual support.  After all it takes two to communicate.