Good communication is the key to any successful relationship. That being said, it’s easy to have slip-ups from time to time. Unfortunately, these mistakes can pile up over time – damaging your dynamic in the long run. While effective communication is different for every couple, their core values and common mistakes are the same.
Here are 5 common communication mistakes made in many relationships, and how to avoid them:
- Not listening
Couples often forget that listening is an essential branch of effective communication. Actively listening to your partner consists of engaging with their body language, turning-off selective hearing, getting rid of distractions, and being patient. Sometimes we get caught up in thinking about our rebuttal or our day at work, that we fail to hear our partner out – this pattern will strain your relationship if left unaddressed.
On top of listening to your partner, you should also listen to them without interrupting. Not only is this a sign of respect, but it also shows them that you are being attentive. Holding yourself (and your partner) to these standards by saying “Hey, I would really like to finish my thought,” will facilitate better communication. This will also set a precedent in your relationship so the next time you’re talking, they’re less likely to interrupt you.
- Mind reading expectations
Nonverbal communication is a real thing, but it could never replace its verbal counterpart. If you expect your partner to understand what you are saying without spelling it out for them, you will end up frustrated. When you vocalize your needs to your partner, they’ll have a better understanding of them. More often than not, they’ll appreciate the straightforwardness and you’ll appreciate being supported.
Communicating can solve most relationship problems, but over-communicating can actually magnify them. You shouldn’t tell your partner every thought that pops into your head. If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all. You might feel tempted to voice the first thing that comes to your mind, but more likely than not, you’ll end up regretting it.
- The silent treatment
If you’re upset with your partner, the silent treatment isn’t a great way to show it. Try verbalizing what exactly upset you in a kind and constructive manner. These difficult conversations can be nerve-wracking and overwhelming, but engaging in them in a calm and respectful manner will increase your satisfaction in your relationship overall.