How can we build better communication in our relationship?
- Be willing to make time for each other. Don’t give excuses like this: “What do you mean we don’t communicate? Just yesterday, I texted you a reply to the voice mail you left me.”
- Be right with God.
- Be in prayer.
- Be in the Word.
- Be assertive. Ask for what you want and need; share your feelings by using “I” statements. (For more help on articulating “I” statements, download and print off this worksheet.)
- Be willing to compromise. Make each situation a win-win for the both of you.
- Be attentive. Make a concerted effort to give undivided focus to the other. Turn off the TV and computer; put down your iPhone. When your partner is talking to you, turn toward him or her, make eye contact, and remember to use touching and nodding as nonverbal communicators.
- Keep persevering.
- Maintain confidentiality in your relationship. How your partner feels is not your best friend’s business.
- Keep humor in your communication. Remember to laugh!
- Avoid mind reading. Don’t make assumptions about how your partner feels about a subject.
- Express empathy. Get into their shoes; seek to understand their feelings.
- Watch out for misunderstandings.
- Request more information. Ask a question to seek clarification or additional details: “Could you share more with me?” or “Can you help me understand what you’re trying to say?”
- Reflect on what has been said. Offer affirming statements such as, “You seem really excited about this!” or “This must have been very painful for you.”
- Rephrase statements with care. Repeat back in your own words what you’ve heard your partner say, until you have it right. State, “This is what I heard you saying. Is this correct?”
- Get closure. Make sure your discussion ends only after you can answer these things: “What are you thinking?” and “How are you feeling?” and “Now share with me what you heard me saying.”
Which of these can you and your spouse work on today?
(In case you missed it, here’s the “You to I Messages” worksheet for you or your small group to complete.)