Communication is a pillar of a strong relationship, and without it, our relationships struggle or eventually collapse. This is true for romantic, sexual, platonic, familial and workplace interactions alike. Of course, you know your relationship better than anyone, but these are simply some basic tips that you can use and apply to your relationships as you wish. If you are in an abusive or violent relationship and using these tips would put you in danger, please don’t try them and seek help if it’s safe to do so.
Communication ain’t a one way street, you need to be prepared to speak and listen to the other person. Remember that suppressing how you feel isn’t helpful, find a friend or S.O.* or family member and have a gentle chat about how you’re feeling if it seems like it’s all getting too much. Alternatively, seek out help if you think you may need it, acknowledging weakness is a sign of strength!
*REMEMBER* communication isn’t always bad or about resolving issues, it’s okay (read: encouraged for reasons of wholesome content) to tell someone how much you care about them, love them, appreciate them or just generally are thankful for their existence *melts*.
So, what does healthy communication look like to us?
Healthy communication as a whole to me looks like having mutual respect for one another. Treating people how you would like to be treated and speak to others the way you would want to be spoken to.
For me, healthy communication with anyone is really fundamental to any solid relationship. It’s important to hear out other people because we don’t always fully know their circumstances.
People tell you things they care about, and if they’re telling it to you, it’s because you matter to them. Genuinely listen to what your partner/friend/colleague has to say or how they feel.
It’s equally important to just be honest and vocalize how you feel as well, and admit when you’re wrong! Be honest & admit your mistakes. Everyone’s human.
To me, it’s important for you to be as open and honest with your partner. Put yourself in their shoes before you speak and have a think about how you would feel if someone spoke to you in that way. It’s especially crucial for those who identify as men and everyone to ensure you don’t hit out and try your best to use words to express how you feel. We’re all trying our best!
Tips and tricks
- When trying to talk to someone in a healthy way, find a time to chat when you’re both hassle-free and calm.
- If you can avoid having a serious chat over Facebook or Snapchat and talking it out in person, that’s ideal to prevent miscommunication and overthinking. Even make a note of what you want to talk about prior to chatting on your phone or on paper so you remember in the moment!
- Before you start chatting, agree to be honest and raw with each other. It may even make your relationship closer! Make sure you both have a chance to talk about how you’re feeling, it’s a two-way street!
- Don’t phub! Phone snubbing or having closed body language ain’t gonna help you have the hard conversations, you’ve gotta be open and show the person that you care and respect them.
- Use “I”, not “you” statements so that you express how you feel to the other person but don’t blame them. Relationships are tough, but you gotta work at it!
- If you’re feeling too angry or worked up to have a conversation, take out 48 hours! If you feel angry still after a few days, say something or consider letting it go. If they engage with you and apologise honestly, move on! *wholesome content ALERT*
- Try to listen to them! Try your best to find out what their intentions were, their needs and desires and how they feel.
These tough conversations, if resolved honestly and respectfully, make us and our relationships with one another so much stronger! Keep trying!
We’ll have more blogs out in the future about how to resolve conflict,managing your emotions, supporting friends/S.O’s/family, where to get help and much more!
*S.O. means significant other 😉
This blog post was created using info from:
Betterhealth.vic.gov.au. (2018). Relationships and communication. [online] Available at: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/relationships-and-communication [Accessed 16 Oct. 2018].
Loveisrespect.org. (2017). How Can We Communicate Better? | Loveisrespect.org. [online] Available at: https://www.loveisrespect.org/healthy-relationships/communicate-better/ [Accessed 16 Oct. 2018].
Pamf.org. (2015). Healthy Communication | Building Blocks of the Relationship ABCs. [online] Available at: http://www.pamf.org/teen/abc/buildingblocks/communication.html [Accessed 16 Oct. 2018].