by Niara Eans, LMFT Associate, LPC Associate, NCC
Time to read: 5 minutes
This blog post serves as part 2 of our six part series featuring the Cornerstones of a Healthy relationship. You can find the list and links to the blog posts for the rest of the series below.
Most people can agree that good communication is a necessity for any healthy relationship. However, very few were actually shown what good, healthy communication looks like. Yet, good communication is something that most people expect of their partners by the time we reach adulthood. How can you expect someone to be able to acquire a skillset that he or she has never seen?
To help remedy this situation, some quick tips and information regarding communication have been included below.
1. How do I know if I am a good communicator?
If you are able to accomplish these 4 tasks in your communication, chances are that your communication is effective.
- Listen effectively: Did you hear what your partner's concerns and needs were?
- Show empathy: Were you able to put yourself in your partner's shoes without considering your own biases and judgements?
- Pay attention to nonverbals: Does your body language match what you are saying? Does your partner's body language match what she is saying?
- Assert yourself: Are you being direct and clear about your feelings and needs?
2. We have hurt each other so much that it's hard to show empathy.
It is normal to put your guard up after experiencing disappointments and betrayals within your relationship. Be vulnerable with your partner about these feelings and seek help together. It is possible for your relationship to move past this hurt and into happier, more trusting territory.
3. I don't feel like I can trust anything that my partner is saying when we communicate.
We've all heard it a million times, but I will say it again. Trust is something that is earned. If the trust has been broken, communication will be difficult. However, it does not have to stay that way. Working on rebuilding the trust is necessary. Consistency is key here. If you and your partner can both do what you say that you will do, it will go a long way to reestablishing the trust that was lost. It does not have to be complicated. If you agree to walk the dog every morning, make sure that you actually complete this task in the way that you say that you will . If you find that you need additional support, reaching out to marriage therapist can help you navigate this process.
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Next week's blog: Intimacy