Some couples find it difficult to communicate with each other. Your partner may turn the other way any time you bring up talks about your feelings. According to recent research, talking about your feelings is not necessarily the best way for couples to achieve healthy, happy and successful relationships. Here are 6 ways to improve emotional communication and deepen your relationship:
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Make minor talk
At times, unimportant details like talking about a TV show or even the weather may connect you emotionally to your partner in shocking ways you can’t imagine that would be way better than deep planned deep discussion. John Gottman and Janice Driver researched a group of married couples and found that the ordinary and often transient moments that are part of a couple’s daily life have a greater impact on the health of the relationship than do apparently emotionally meaningful and serious conversations. Even something as minor as making a grocery list together can be a way of sharing space and time, and can become a way of showing love, like when you add your partner’s favorite cookies to the list without being asked.
Share small insignificant experiences
A recent research discovered that we feel closer to others when we can talk about experiences we have in common. Couples having relationship difficulties can take a first step to repairing a rupture by talking about their children, especially if they can be encouraged to speak of pleasant moments or cute incidents. Of course, since many conflicts occur around the rearing of families, you will have to be careful not to bring up moments that will trigger further disharmony.
These shared experiences do not have to be in words. Just doing something at the same time like watching a movie, riding bikes, or eating dessert, deepens both pleasant and unpleasant experiences. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a tiny action can be worth even more. Reach out and take your partner’s hand. Also, one of you can simply stand so that some small part of your body makes contact, even if only for a few seconds. These are times when talking about the experience can actually destroy the moment of closeness, it is best to just share it in silence.
Knowing that you are being heard is one of the experiences most likely to reinforce a feeling of connection to your partner. One way to improve your listening skills is not only to listen, but also to understand what is being said. Understanding can be communicated with a word, phrase that captures what they’re saying, or a simple “I understand”, or even with a smile – if you really do understand. While listening, you may want to interrupt for clarification or even disagreements. If you must interrupt, be sure to ask permission by saying; “Sorry, can I ask you a question?” Then ask something that is clearly related to expounding what your partner is telling you. If you disagree with the whole idea, wait until they have finished talking before you express disagreement. But if you are not sure that they have accurately described something, you can ask for more clarification—without accusing them of lying, this can lead to an undesirable end of a seemingly harmless discussion.
Talk about yourself, but don’t take all the time
It’s important that you both get a chance to talk and listen. Finding a healthy balance between talking and listening is hard, but even harder as you get to know each other.
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- Once you’ve become aware of some of the hidden shared moments you’re having with your partner, see if you can find ways to increase your daily amount of trivial experiences together.When couples spend time together to do unimportant things like listening to music, watching a TV program, doing laundry together, reading a paper together – is far more important to the health of a relationship than talking about feelings.