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Imagine a car without fuel, can it move from one place to another? Definitely not. The same thing goes for a relationship without good communication—it just can’t work. Building a relationship with good communication is not easy but as John Powell said, “Communication works for those who work at it.” Today I’ll share some top tips and ways you can improve communication in a relationship.
A relationship consists of two people and both parties must be willing to communicate better with each other in order for things to go smoothly. The partner passing a message across must use the language and suitable tone understood by the other partner. It’s not just about talking. Did he hear and understand you? Or were you just babbling?
15 Ways to improve communication in a relationship
There are certain things that hinder effective communication in a relationship, some of which include anger, frustration, the other party not responding, lack of understanding, etc. You cannot improve communication in a relationship without acknowledging these things.
Below we’ll be looking at 15 tips to improve communication in a relationship. Because really, what’s a relationship without communication? You guessed it. Dead.
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1. Understand your partner
A relationship consists of two people from totally different backgrounds, with different upbringing and views towards life. You need to take this into consideration when communicating with your partner. You must understand how your partner views and perceives things in order to improve communication with them.
Don’t just assume that your partner understands what you mean, ask them if they do and be sure to communicate with them in the language they understand.
2. Don’t speak when you are angry
Anger is a very dangerous emotion. When we are angry we tend to do and say things without thinking. Anger can make you destroy in 10 seconds what you have spent 10 years with hard efforts building.
Avoid talking to your partner when you are angry, instead you should calm down, take a deep breath and think about the consequences of your words and actions.
Words are like eggs, once dropped, you can’t pick them back up again. If you don’t think before you talk because you are angry, you might end up regretting your actions and words for the rest of your life.
3. Learn to stop and listen to your partner
Most times, we just want to talk and say how we feel without considering if the other party also has something to say or stopping to hear from them.
Your partner’s opinion should matter as much as yours. Listening is one very important skill that most people lack during conversations.
You shouldn’t just listen with the intent to reply, you should listen to understand what the other person is saying. You need to learn how to listen to what your partner has to say and not make everything just about yourself, only then can you communicate better in your relationship.
Try to listen more and talk less, it would help you in communicating better with your partner.
4. Practice honesty in your communication
Honesty is a very important virtue that every human ought to possess.
A dishonest person cannot be trusted and what is a relationship without trust? If your partner perceives you to be dishonest, they may never believe anything you say to them and this would hinder effective communication between the both of you.
Learn to speak the truth at all times no matter how hard it might seem. Not only would you be seen as a trustworthy person, but your partner would be able to defend your integrity in every situation.
5. Determine the right time to talk before talking
Some moments are just not right for talking. Your partner could be angry, tired or worried, and at that point, you should just let them be and postpone the conversation to a more convenient time.
Imagine talking to your partner who has just returned home from a stressful day and he or she is nodding off in between conversations. They are likely to not understand or listen to what you are saying and this might even make you angry. So the best thing to do is to bring up the conversation at a more appropriate time.
By bringing up a conversation at the right time, you will be able to capture your partner’s attention and the conversation will flow well.
It will surprise you to find that the key to getting something you want from your boyfriend lies in asking at the right moment. You see that moment when you’re all cuddled up in his arms? That’s your chance to ask him for that full-day spa treatment! Not when he just got an earful from his boss.
6. Let your body language speak well
There’s a difference between talking with your mouth and talking with your body. Your body language sometimes speaks louder than your voice.
You can’t be frowning while telling your partner that you are sorry, he or she simply won’t believe you. Your face needs to show some form of remorse in order to show how sorry you truly are.
Learn to speak with the proper body language and let your words be in sync with your body, then watch your relationship experience the benefits of great communication.
7. Don’t make assumptions, hear from your partner first
Couples tend to make assumptions from what they hear their partner say or see them do.
Instead of jumping into conclusions (many of us are so talented at this, we should probably join the Olympics), sit your partner down and ask questions in order to clarify what you heard or didn’t hear.
Making assumptions will only give you unnecessary worries and probably make you start doubting your partner. By doing this, you are inviting unnecessary problems into the relationship.
The right thing to do is talk about everything you don’t really understand with your partner and seek clarification.
8. Ask for your partner’s opinion on important matters
We get so carried away sometimes with how much we know or how badly we want a particular thing that we forget to ask our partner’s opinion on such matters.
Your partner might sit down to hear you talk all about it without complaining but deep down they want you to also seek their opinion before making that decision.
Asking your partner’s opinion would make them feel important and show how much value you place on them. Before you make a decision or when having a conversation on a subject matter, ask for your partner’s opinion, listen to it and put it into proper consideration before making any decision.
And don’t just do it as a formality. If your boo is truly your boo, he will know when you’re faking it.
9. Learn to compliment your partner
Nobody hates a good compliment. Do you remember the smile on your face the last time someone told you how good a dress looked on you?
That’s the power of a sincere compliment.
A sincere compliment brings a smile to a person’s face and makes them happy. Don’t hesitate to compliment your partner at every given opportunity. It goes a long way in making them feel good about themselves and improving your communication in the relationship.
10. Talk about everything, even the most uncomfortable topics
Is there a habit that your partner has that you don’t like? Are you tired of finding the toilet door open? Have you ever tried talking to them about it? I guess not and that’s probably why they are still doing it.
As humans we don’t have mind reading abilities and there is no way in the world your partner would know that you don’t like a particular thing they do until you tell them about it.
You are not supposed to talk about just the good stuff, you both should sit down and talk about the things you don’t like—the bad and ugly parts of the relationship.
By talking about these things, you can work on making things better and having healthy communication in the relationship.
11. Don’t hesitate to say sorry and mean it
“Sorry” is a five letter word that most people have failed to see as important.
Instead of always trying to justify your actions and wrong doings, why not just admit to it and give a sincere apology to your partner? Saying sorry can save you a whole lot of unnecessary arguments and stress.
Apologizing can be hard sometimes, but you need to realize that giving an apology doesn’t make you dumb, it only means you are concerned about the peace in your relationship. When you say sorry, it doesn’t remove a part of your body or make you less of who you are, instead it shows how high your level of maturity is.
Don’t say sorry because you are told to, say it because it’s the right thing to do and you truly mean it. This is very important for you to improve communication in a relationship.
12. Learn to show appreciation
“Thank you” might seem like an unimportant term when you have grown close to a person, but you would be surprised at how much people love to be appreciated for every little effort they show.
Saying thank you doesn’t just make your partner know that you appreciate them, it will also prompt them to do something better for you next time.
In William Arthur words, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a gift and not giving it”. Learn to appreciate your partner even for the little things they do for you.
13. Don’t let a third-party come in between
Have you ever had a conversation with your partner and after talking about a particular issue, they said something like, “But Jared said it didn’t happen this way ”. I’m pretty sure you felt hurt and insulted, and probably started thinking to yourself, “Do you mean I am lying? Or would you rather take the other person’s word over mine?”
Bringing in opinions from third parties about an issue can make your partner feel bad and doubt the trust you have in them. Listen to what your partner says on the issue and if you have doubts, ask questions to clarify instead of introducing what a third party said into the conversation.
A relationship should consist of two people, not three or more!
14. Learn to be liberal and open minded
It’s very easy to come to conclusions on things based on the experiences, thoughts or beliefs that we have, but it is important that you listen and view the issue from your partner’s point of view.
No man is an island of knowledge. When your partner knows that you are open minded in conversations and would not criticize them at every little opportunity, it helps them to be more comfortable with you, and, this way, they can tell you anything and everything (yes, even when they cheated).
No one knows it all, so learn to accommodate other people’s opinions.
15. Don’t be shy to talk about your sexual life
Sex is a very important aspect in most relationships today but many people shy away from talking about it because they deem it as uncomfortable or awkward. Is your partner sexually satisfying you? Is there something you want them to stop doing or start doing more of? Do you hate when he pulls your hair? Tell him before you go bald!
Your partner can’t know all these things if you don’t talk about it with them. Communication during sex is also very erotic and helps you get more connected with your partner.
It is important to always keep in mind that building a better communication pattern in your relationship is not a day’s job.
We are humans and we tend to make mistakes, but the only thing we can do is to consistently work on building a better version of ourselves in every aspect of our lives in order for things to sail smoothly.
Having better communication or improving communication with your partner should never be underrated because it is the fuel that keeps the vehicle of your relationship going.
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