This month I’m excited to talk about all things love and relationships. One of the keys to any successful relationship is good communication skills. We are even evaluated on the job based on our skills. But what does that really mean?
As a School Counselor, one of the things that I stress to my students repeatedly is effective communication. I teach them how to communicate with their teachers, peers and family members. Surprisingly, adults also struggle with effective communication. In this post, I’m laying out 5 tips for healthy communication with your spouse.
- Listen more, talk less. Communicating doesn’t just involve talking. Listen to your partner and they will tell you what is important to them.
- Silence is golden. This goes along with #2. Find out what your partner’s love language is. You may think that buying them gifts is what makes them happy, but they may just want you to cuddle with them after a long day of work. Tune in to what your partner’s needs are and cater to them. You may find that your love language need will be met as well.
- One on one quiet time. Can you truly communicate when there is chaos? For those of us with children, can you get the point across to your spouse when someone is having a tantrum or the television is blaring? Quiet time doesn’t always mean date night (although that is important too). Quiet time can mean you make time for each other when the kids are in bed, or whatever other time is conducive to your schedule.
- Eye contact. This seems so insignificant, but giving someone eye contact shows that you are engaged with them. It shows them that they are important enough to give your undivided attention. I know I am guilty of this one. I may be pinning things on Pinterest and listening to my husband at the same time. The truth is, he isn’t really getting the attention from me that he deserves, and looking at him ensures that I make it happen.
5. Empathy. Communicating doesn’t mean that I understand every feeling that is conveyed. It means I care enough to try to put myself in your shoes. It also means that I don’t invalidate my husband’s experiences because it didn’t happen to me. This is also an area I’ve had to work on. I am the oldest of four children and he was raised as an only child. I had more responsibilities at a younger age, but that doesn’t make my experiences better than his.
What helps you communicate with your spouse? I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!
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