27th May 2014
Talking to Your Partner
Whether it’s small talk, serious talk, happy talk or sad talk, communicating regularly with your partner is essential for a healthy and satisfying relationship. In fact, talking to one another is key to sharing the good times and getting through the tough ones.
Types of Talk
As important as it is to talk about major issues such as your relationship, having a family, your concerns and fears, it’s as important to talk over everyday happenings in your lives.
Small talk focusing on each other’s days, routine chores, hobbies, friends, workplaces, and extended families are some of the most common topics of conversation. Romantic talk helps you to share loving feelings, and is essential to a sense of being cared for and appreciated in your relationship. Serious conversations may be less common, but can be a real barometer of a couple’s ability to work together through challenges together.
The foundation of all good communication is good listening and responding.
You may have developed patterns of listening and responding over time are neither helpful nor effective and you need to be open to change.
Listening to one another attentively gives both of you an opportunity to understand each another and get a sense of life through your partner’s eyes. This is called empathic listening and can have a very positive impact on your relationship. Most people appreciate and feel good when they have been listened to and feel understood. Developing the ability to be a good listener, to really hear your partner, takes time and effort but is very worthwhile.
Honest and Open
No matter what you speak about, be open, honest and direct. Don’t expect your partner to have to second guess what is on your mind, he/she is most likely not a mind reader. Be self assured and confident knowing that what you need to say is important and deserves to be heard. If you want your partner to understand how you are feeling, try to name your feelings, your partner will then be in a better position to understand exactly where you’re coming from.
Lastly, good communication requires respectful and tactful language. Using “I feel” rather than “You always…” or “You never…” is more likely to lead to positive rather than negative outcomes. Using “You” statements can give rise to defensiveness and when a person is feeling defensive they are much less likely to be able to hear what is being said to them.
Talk about your thoughts and feelings and what’s important to you as much as possible. This way the channels of communication will remain open and you’ll both be able to remain tuned into one another.