We’re told time and time again that communication is the key to a better relationship. It enhances trust, loyalty and deepens our connection with others.
But what does good communication actually entail? And how do we get better at it?
Improving communication skills is not as simple as talking more frequently. It’s actually as much about the quality of our conversations as the quantity.
Here we share how to be better at communication so that you can improve your relationship with yourself and loved ones.
Why is communication important in a relationship
Effective communication is crucial in any relationship, but particularly in our romantic partnerships. It allows us to open up and share our honest feelings, which in turn nurtures our human connection.
Those who fail to communicate often do so because they are fearful of rejection or upsetting their partner. However, staying guarded is actually a more sure way to achieve this.
Communicating openly and honestly allows us to achieve three key benefits:
You are able to get to know your partner better
Frequent, deeper conversations allow us to better understand a person, from their likes and dislikes to their dreams and fears. By making time to communicate we can better understand our compatibility and our true selves.
You will reduce misunderstandings and conflict
By being honest and expressing true feelings, you are more likely to resolve conflict faster and stop minor upsets from escalating. It is often tempting to avoid confrontation, but sharing your feelings means you can reach a compromise without confusion.
You will build a deeper connection
As much as we wish our other halves could mindread, unfortunately it’s never the case. More often than not, annoyances occur because one person isn’t opening up. But by sharing everything from the good to the bad, you become more vulnerable and grow closer to your partner.
So how do you begin improving your communication skills? Read on to find out.
How to be better at communication
The first steps to being better at communication are:
- Always being open and vulnerable
- Being approachable and accessible in your body language
- Picking an appropriate time and way to communicate for all parties
- Being sensitive and listening to the other person’s experience
- Never being verbally aggressive, even in an argument
Lastly, it’s also important to remember that not everyone is good at expressing their true emotions. So while you may be consciously improving your communication, others may struggle. If this is the case, remain calm and understanding – never pressure someone into talking when they don’t want to as this only makes things worse. And of course, give yourself some slack as well! We will never be perfect. All we can do is strive to be better everyday. Baby steps should be rewarded.
Communicating with your wife (how to talk to women)
Men and women are famously different when it comes to communication. Women are typically more open to difficult, emotional conversations, whereas men tend to bottle up their true feelings. This can lead to conflict and even relationship breakdowns.
But learning how to talk to women isn’t difficult – you simply have to appreciate your partner’s point of view.
Here we look at five easy, actionable ways you can become better at communicating with your wife:
- Listen first, then speak
Everybody wants to be listened to. There’s nothing worse than opening up and being vulnerable to realize that the other person wasn’t paying attention.
Whether it’s a day-to-day conversation or a deeper subject being discussed, always listen to what is being said. Listen more than intellectually, listen while feeling your emotions and body’s response. It can also help to ask questions and clarify a certain point. This shows you are listening and helps avoid misunderstandings.
- Recognize body language
How many times has your wife said ‘I’m fine!’ when in reality they are the opposite? People don’t always verbalize their true feelings. That’s why it’s just as important to pick up on nonverbal cues when engaging in open and honest communication.
Look at your partner’s body language next time you communicate. Hand gestures, facial expressions and even the tone in which we speak all suggest how we really feel and will enable you to respond more appropriately.
- Pick a time to talk
Important conversations deserve dedicated time. Rushing subjects or avoiding them completely only result in heightened stress. Instead invite your partner to discuss what matters at a time where you are both relaxed and not distracted. This way you can ensure each person is given ample time to be heard and understood.
- Open up for deeper conversations
It’s crucial to continue getting to know our partners, whether we’ve been together for months or many decades. Deeper conversations keep the spark alive – and allow us to connect. Inspire such communication by inviting your wife to talk more freely. Open-ended questions allow for more than a yes/no answer and also keep a conversation flowing. You never know… you might find something out that you didn’t yet know about each other!
- Ask what your partner needs
We always want to make our partners feel better, right? Well sometimes instead of offering our advice, it’s better to just listen and be sympathetic. This is often the case when someone’s had a bad day at work. They may just want to rant and feel validated – not be given your view on things. Next time your wife needs to vent, check in and ask if they need advice or just some support.
Communication is a key skill…
…which means there’s always room to improve!
Top tip: before implementing our ways to better communicate, why not discuss it with your wife? Showing you care about improving your communication is an excellent way to connect with your partner – plus, she’ll likely have her own thoughts on your communication style.
Want more support with your relationship?
Here at EVRYMAN, we support a community of men across the world to connect, communicate and become more fulfilled in their daily life. As featured in Men’s Health, our membership groups inspire like-minded men to feel empowered in their relationships.
Find out more and join the EVRYMAN Community today.How to be better at communicationhow to talk to womenimproving communication skills