Have you ever been disappointed by a promising date because it lacked good conversation? Or have you been dealing with misunderstandings in a relationship, or moments when you just can’t get the point across? Consider these four easy tips that can help improve communication in a relationship and bring you closer to your partner (or a friend).
1. Give each other updates.
Even if you spend most waking moments together, there are always things that you might not know about each other.Is there a project you’ve been working on or a new food you’ve been wanting to try? If you or your partner are missing each other because of busy schedules, set up a convenient time when you can both give each other updates. By sharing the little details, you will cultivate communication habits that prepare you for some of the bigger conversations.
2. Embrace silence.
Have you ever noticed that the better you get to know someone, the more comfortable silence and pauses tend to be? If you don’t have the words or even the energy for a conversation, it’s okay to play listener for the night, or just spend some quiet time together. You can communicate a lot by being next to someone, and when you’ve run out of things to do or talk about, your continual presence shows that you care.
3. Have your space.
At the same time, everyone needs their space and time apart. Respecting each other’s boundaries is the key to maintaining good self-care during a relationship, which will enhance your time spent together in the end. Have you ever had an argument or a misunderstanding following a period of constant interaction? In all your relationships—friendly, romantic, or otherwise—it’s good to take some time to yourself. Having time and space to yourself will create more balanced communication, and you’ll have more to bring to the table once you’ve cleared your mind.
4. Pick up the phone.
Have you ever laughed at a lazy text that consisted solely of a few syllables or letters? Worse yet, have you ever been confused over the meaning of a text? Why not pick up the phone and call your partner? Chances are you’ll make plans faster, articulate yourselves better, and get the main points across with less risk of miscommunication.
As you pursue healthy interaction in a relationship, look out for any barriers that might be holding you back from open and honest communication with your partner. Do either of you have the habit of not picking up the phone, getting distracted, or exaggerating matters? Discuss obstacles together as your first step in establishing better communication. And remember: your conversation will be on your way to improved communication as long as you give one another the chance to speak.