Daily life can pull couples apart, especially when living abroad. Communication is essential, but sometimes couples have never learned to communicate constructively. Here are 4 simple ways to quickly improve communication in a relationship:
1. Give your partner your full attention
This creates an atmosphere of connection and trust. Make eye contact and keep looking at your partner, don't let your eyes wander.
2. Use more "I statements"
This will reduce pressure. Make it clear to your partner that you own your own feelings and that you are responsible for your thoughts and your behaviour.
3. Ask more open questions
In everyday life, we tend to ask closed questions, which can easily be answered with one or two words. Start asking more open questions, as this will give your partner the feeling that you are interested in his or her thoughts and ideas.
4. Try not to interrupt
Don't jump in before your partner is finished, even if you disagree with what your partner is saying. Remain silent, wait till the end and if this becomes difficult for you, then ask yourself what is creating this urge to interrupt? This will help you to recognise and manage your emotions.
I'm Natalie Marby, an English speaking therapist in Hamburg, Germany. I offer psychotherapy and couples therapy in English, especially for expats living in Hamburg. You can book an initial session by sending me an email or calling me: (040) 46090233. (Please don't forget to send me your phone number and the times I can reach you). I look forward to hearing from you!
Read more about my therapy method: Healing the inner child.