How Better Communication Can Help Couples Reduce Conflict
No matter how perfect you and your partner are together, you’re bound to have conflict at one point or another.
You’re two different people. You each have your own wants, needs, values, and beliefs. Even though you’re compatible, you can’t possibly agree on everything.
Sure, you may share a lot of similarities. Maybe you enjoy the same activities, sports teams, or food. Maybe you each want a certain number of children. You may even both be dog people over cat people.
But differences will happen from time to time. And that’s okay! It’s completely normal to disagree on some things. Those disagreements can actually help to strengthen your bond with one another.
Healthy communication is very important, especially when it comes to conflict. It’s important to build healthy communication between the two of you on a daily basis so you’re better able to plan and prepare for those tough conversations that may come up.
Here’s how better communication can help couples reduce conflict.
During a conflict, it’s easy to try to prepare for what you’re going to say next in response to your partner. This isn’t actively listening.
Try to really listen to your partner during a conversation. Avoid any distractions. Put your phone away, turn the TV off, and have open and honest communication face to face.
It will be a lot easier and a smoother conversation overall if you’re both making an effort and equally speaking and listening.
Step into Their Shoes
When you have conflict, you want your partner to see your side of things, but keep in mind, that they want the same from you. Try to step into their shoes to see their point of view.
Listen to what your partner is saying. If you have any questions or want to make sure you understood them correctly, verify with them. Ask them questions to make sure you’re both on the same page.
Use “I” Messages
Try not to play the blame game during your conversation. You may not intend to do so, but certain things you say could easily get taken the wrong way, especially if it’s a tough conversation.
You want to keep the conversation healthy. Instead of using “You” in a sentence, try to swap that with “I”. By making that simple switch in verbiage, you can avoid you or your partner becoming defensive. Take ownership of your own thoughts and feelings. This approach will also help your partner understand your point of view instead of feeling like they’re being attacked.
There isn’t a Winner or Loser
You shouldn’t be going into a conversation with your partner trying to win the argument. In a partnership, there should never be a winner or loser. You’re in this together, through the good times and bad.
Instead, try to find ways where you both can win. Look for a compromise that benefits both of you equally. You have to give a little to get a little. You should both want what’s best for the other person and for both of you to be happy with any decisions that are being made. One person should never feel like they have to give up more than the other person.
Seek Additional Help
If you feel like your communication isn’t as healthy as it can be or if there’s a certain topic that you can’t seem to communicate effectively on, it may be time to reach out for additional help.
Reaching out to an unbiased third party like a therapist can help you get through the obstacles you’re facing. They can also teach you the necessary skills to avoid conflict or get through it in a better way moving forward.
If you’re interested in learning more about individual therapy, couples therapy, or both, reach out to us today to set up an appointment.
Click here for more information on couples therapy.