Whether your relationship has just started or you have spent years together, chances are you will face ups and downs. Sometimes misunderstandings, stress, and conflicts can take over a healthy relationship leaving you dissatisfied, frustrated, and angry. The main contributor to this situation can be a lack of effective communication. It takes effort, commitment, willingness and, most importantly, understanding to stick together through the thick and thin of any relationship.
So, next time you hear your partner say, “Why don’t you pay attention when I speak?” or “Were you even listening?” or “I don’t want to talk about it!” then instead of ignoring them, try to comprehend the situation. Connect with your partner by communicating with the genuine intention of understanding their point of view and offer emotional support.
Read further to see how you can engage and understand your partner better. This will help you identify and resolve issues that can otherwise take a toll on your relationship.
1. Spend Quality Time Getting to Know Your Partner
When you are in a relationship, unwillingly or unconsciously, you may forget the other person is also a human and can have opinions, choices, feelings, and priorities that are different than yours. Their experience and reactions can differ even when both of you are in the same place or situation.
No matter how close you are to your partner, there are always things that you do not know about them. And to understand someone thoroughly, we must know knowing every little thing about them.
Therefore, commit to spending more quality time with your partner regularly, talking out your differences and opinions, and getting to know each other’s choices.
2. Never Impose Your Ideas and Beliefs
“We should visit the restaurant nearby, as I don’t like the one you suggested!”
No matter how experienced or mature you are, never impose your ideas, beliefs, judgments, and decisions on your spouse or partner. Doing so can leave your partner embarrassed or discouraged. They will stop sharing their views, and you will be left unaware of their feelings.
If you do not like your partner’s idea or decision, instead of imposing your thoughts and beliefs on them, try to understand their point of view. After listening carefully to them, if you still disagree, you can then explain your opinions and justify them.
3. Lose the “I’m Always Right” Attitude
“I am telling you, this remote will not work! Why do you always have to try new ways to fix it?”
Too often, we are stuck fighting with our partner to prove our point or ignore theirs. This worsens the situation rather than improving it. Also, you may end up ruining your relationship with your partner when you give in to the urge to solve every problem with a “listen to me, I am right” attitude.
Be an understanding partner by listening to what the other person has to say and understand the logic or feelings behind their argument. It is not necessary to prove that you are always right, because being human, you will also make poor judgments and decisions at times. So, treat each other equally and with respect, and find ways to resolve issues together instead of continuing to argue that one of you is “right,” and the other is “wrong.” Ask yourself, “Would you rather be right or happy?”
4. Learn to Compromise
Let’s suppose your partner has to attend an important meeting related to their profession on Sunday evening, but you had already made plans to watch a movie together that evening.
What will you do? Force your partner to cancel the meeting, or compromise for their happiness? Sometimes sacrificing your needs and wants to make your partner’s life happier can deepen your relationship with them. This is a significant step toward understanding your partner better.
5. Encourage Your Partner
Whenever you are involved in a heated conversation or argument with your partner, stop for a moment to analyze your situation. Ask yourself why you are arguing. Are you able to understand what your partner is trying to explain?
Your partner’s inability to share their thoughts or express themselves can create a communication gap between you two. How can you deal with this situation? First, be patient, drop the argument, and let them know that you value their views.
Encourage your partner to share his or her thoughts with you. Be a good listener, and give them a safe, non-argumentative space in which they can tell you what they are thinking and how they feel.
Conflicts are an inevitable part of any relationship, but it is up to you to decide how to handle them. Instead of drawing out the argument, learn to resolve it. Make sure to focus only on the issue at hand and not to mix old quarrels with the current one. Respect your partner’s views, and do not make him or her feel attacked. Last but not least, let go of things that do not matter and cannot affect your happiness over a long period.
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