What would it be like if people communicated more? It includes communication with parents, siblings, friends, intimate relationships…basically, every relationship.
Communication is that one (not so secret key) that could help people take their relationships to a place where there is trust, understanding, openness, and so much more.
Let us ask you a simple question:
- How often do we make an effort to communicate with the people we love or care for, to let them know what we are feeling?
- How often do we choose to sulk or expect them to magically just understand what we mean or feel? Often, isn’t it?
While some of us are a bit more expressive than others, it is often said, that some are like closed books.
Relationships are difficult as it is, and there is a lot that goes into any relationship for it to work. The inability to communicate with the other person makes it even harder.
Communication not only helps you explain what you are feeling, but it also helps in being understood better.
What Is Communication?
A lot of us have been led to understand that communication involves speaking and letting others know what is on our minds. But, communication is so much more than that.
Communication is about building connections. It is an act of exchanging thoughts, feelings, ideas, opinions, and emotions with the help of words, actions, or any other verbal or non-verbal cue.
When you smile at someone, you are communicating. When you speak, you are. Even when you write something, you are communicating. Any interaction that you have with another individual can be considered as communication.
While some interactions may be transactional, in our relationships, communication is what lays the foundation of how strong or weak a relationship is. Let us talk specifically about romantic relationships and how communication can help open avenues that you thought your relationship could not explore.
If you are going through a difficult phase in your relationship, ask yourself this question, “would it help if my partner knew what I was feeling?”
Most probably, the answer would be yes.
Why Is Communication Important in Relationships?
Even though we’ve told you that communication is important in relationships, why do you think that is? A healthy and happy relationship is one whole, where two people come together to make it so. You know the other person well, you feel comfortable sharing your deepest fears and secrets with them, you know their secrets too, you feel understood and heard. However, communication is a two-way street. You need to express, but you also need to listen.
Benefits of Communication in a Relationship
It Lets Others Know What You Are Feeling
When you communicate with others, you have the opportunity to tell them how you are feeling. Your partner no longer has to guess and tiptoe around you to determine what is on your mind. If you are not feeling your best on any particular day, talking to your partner may help not only to ease the feeling, but you may also receive some unexpected gestures from your partner to lighten your mood.
Helps Build Trust
When two people in a relationship communicate and tell each other what they like or dislike, share their past hurts and experiences, share their secrets, and basically, just spend time talking to each other, a sense of trust grows. Isn’t it easier to trust a person you know rather than someone who is a stranger?
While communication may not be a very big problem for people who got married after dating each other for a while, it may sometimes be an issue for people who’ve had arranged marriages.
The person you get married to is a stranger. The relationship begins with communication. It’s only when you communicate with your significant other that the ice is broken, and you know more about them so you can trust them.
It Tells You What Your Partner Is Feeling
Just as communicating helps your partner understand how you feel, it helps you understand what is in your partner’s mind. Talking to each other, with mutual respect and not for finding fault will surely go a long way in strengthening relationships.
Often, instead of communicating something, people end up making assumptions about one’s behavior. Do not trust third persons/ other persons’ versions. Always confirm firsthand from your loved one, to avoid misunderstandings.
A man get’s yelled at by his boss due to a missed deadline. He comes home upset and just goes to bed. His wife assumes that it is something she did that made him upset, and she starts picturing what could have happened.
Sometimes, it is situations like these that get stretched and create tension amongst couples, especially the young people whose relationship is still being built. Remember men and women are different, think differently and communication between the two is the only key to a long-term relationship.
Communication helps you convey your feelings in precise words, leaving very little scope for ambiguity. Communicating with your partner can help reduce such misunderstandings to a great level.
Relationship counselors point out that, often, the biggest issues amongst couples arise out of simple misunderstandings, which in turn are a result of poor communication.
Helps in Setting Boundaries and Expectations
You cannot magically get into someone’s head, can you? Sometimes people expect others to understand what they are feeling or what they like without telling it to them. It is another source of dissatisfaction in relationships.
When you communicate with your partner, you let them know what your likes and dislikes are. It lets your partner know what you expect and also sets a boundary and tells them where you draw a line.
It Helps in Building a Deeper Connection
While intimate physical relationships are great, a deeper connection can be formed only by communicating. When you communicate and express yourself in words, you allow yourself to be read and understood by the other person. It helps your partner know you, beyond the surface.
Now that you have understood why communication is so important in relationships, how do you do it? Do you just command your partner to sit and talk to you? Do you try to initiate a conversation when they come back from work?
Ways to Improve Communication in a Relationship
You would not open up to someone you do not trust, would you? Start by building that trust with your partner. Show them in your actions and words that you are there for them and they can trust you.
Occasionally let them know that if ever they need you for something, you are always there. Show some care and concern.
Be Non-Judgmental and Supportive, Restrain from Blaming and Fault Finding
Do not judge your partner for what they share with you and also try to be a non-judgmental person. People do not generally prefer sharing their emotions or feelings with people who are judgmental by nature because they fear they will also be judged and pointed out for everything.
If you want to know more about your partner, you will also have to contribute to the conversation. Tell them about yourself, share your personal thoughts, and more.
When they share something with you, respect the fact that they let you into their space, and show your support.
This one may be a surprise to many. Communication also requires you to listen. Only when you listen to your partner, you can respond to what they are saying.
Often people are so busy speaking that they forget to listen and then blame the partner for not telling them. Would you be interested in talking to someone, who is just full of himself and does not care about what you say?
If you feel you are someone who interrupts others, here is a small tip. Let the other person stop speaking and count to 3 before you start speaking.
Communication is a two-way street. If you want your partner to share and communicate with you, you have to reciprocate too or even initiate it sometimes.
Don’t hesitate in initiating a conversation. Make the first move and the initial effort.
Respect The Other Person
It comes with being non-judgmental. If you storm out of the room or belittle someone for telling you something, they will probably never come to you again or will stop communicating with you altogether.
Never belittle someone for sharing something with you. You never know the amount of courage it took, and you also do not know what someone has been through.
If people started communicating more and communicating often, so many relationships would be in much better states. Most relationship problems can get solved if people communicate and express themselves.
A relationship encompasses friendship, love, intimacy, trust, and so much more. A couple must be able to share what they like, what they feel, their deepest fears, their fantasies, and everything related, without being judged. And this can happen only through communication.