Do you want to learn how to communicate better with your partner because you find it challenging to get your partner to express themselves in the relationship? When your partner seems closed off in their communication with you, it can be frustrating and concerning.
Openness, Honesty, and Vulnerability: Your Key Ingredients for Better Communication
Open, honest, vulnerable, and frequent communication is essential to a successful relationship.
Without meaningful dialogue, it’s challenging to grow as a couple.
So, what do you do when you want better communication with your partner? Here are 11 ways to get them to open up to you.
11 Ways on How to Communicate Better with Your Partner
#1 Try being vulnerable first.
As the old adage says, “Lead by example.”
When your partner is having trouble baring their thoughts and feelings with you, try doing it first.
Vulnerability is essential to a healthy relationship and to communicate better with your partner; It can also be the hardest to accomplish.
Communication Tip: If you take the first step in opening up, your partner may find it easier to do so.
#2 Timing is Everything.
If you want a productive conversation, your partner must be comfortable.
- Chances are you’re not going to get the results you want while they’re running late to a meeting.
- When your partner is tired, previously irritated, or stressed, don’t try to engage in deep conversation.
For someone who has a hard time opening up, they need to feel at ease.
Communication Tip: Just be patient; The right time will present itself.
#3 Skip the yes or no questions.
Communication Tip: When the goal is to communicate better with your partner and to get them to tell you how they feel, practice open-ended communication.
- Don’t ask yes or no style questions. They do not bolster further development.
- Encourage your partner to speak up by phrasing your questions to obtain greater detail. Instead of asking, “Did you have a good day at work today?” try, “Tell me about your day at work.”
This form of conversation prods your partner to be more descriptive.
#4 Tell your partner why you value what they say.
If hearing what your partner has to say is important to you, tell them.
Excellent communication within your partner is vital to intimacy between you both.
Communication Tip: Your partner likely craves closeness just as much as you do. If you verbalize to them how meaningful it would be for them to open up to you, it might do the trick. Accentuate to them how valuable their thoughts and feelings are.
#5 Don’t schedule the conversation.
Don’t plan the conversation with your partner. One of the worst things you can do is shout “Let’s talk later!” as they’re running out the door.
Doing this builds up anticipation and can lead to defensive feelings - all before the conversation happens.
Communication Tip: When you schedule a time for a chat, it can make things seem ominous and even impersonal — not the right thing to do with someone having trouble expressing their feelings.
#6 Listen to understand.
One of the best pieces of relationship advice you can get -
Communication Tip: Listen to understand, not to respond.
- When your partner is speaking, listen to them with intent. Even if you have so much to say on the subject, resist.
- Allow your partner to speak their piece in full before you offer any input. If your partner feels like you’re taking charge of the conversation with your opinions, they might shut down. Worse yet, they may feel like you aren’t hearing what they’re trying to convey to you.
#7 Don’t judge.
You may not agree with what your partner is saying. And you may not even understand their perspective. Or you may think they’re opinion is way off.
But you know what? That’s okay.
Remember, your partner is an individual with unique perspectives.
Communication Tip: Even if you don’t agree with what they’re saying, you must respect their point of view. When you prioritize this during the conversation, they’ll feel more comfortable opening up to you.
#8 Don’t take it personally.
- Try not to identify yourself with every statement your partner makes.
- Be mindful of what they are saying and understand it for what it is.
- Take yourself out of the equation.
- Try not to think about how the context of the conversation effects you.
Communication Tip: When you associate yourself with what your partner is saying, it turns the conversation into one about you. Understandably, they may become frustrated with this and clam up again.
#9 Try regularly.
Don’t try to instigate deep and meaningful conversations every time you see your partner.
For someone who tends to be quieter and more reserved, this can be a nightmare.
Communication Tip: Instead, check-in regularly but not constantly. Let them know you’re available to talk when they want to, but don’t make them feel forced. For your partner, knowing you’re available when they’re ready can be a significant thing.
#10 Don’t tell your partner how you think they feel.
Try not to start a conversation with “You seem sad.” or something along those lines.
You must allow the conversation to flow freely.
When you tell them how you think they are feeling, it doesn’t allow the conversation to open up. Instead, your partner will spend their time explaining how they do or don’t feel a particular way. This can allow for a pretty narrow conversation.
Communication Tip: Maybe try asking, “How do you feel?”. Doing this will allow them to divulge their true feelings without outside influence. This allows for a more genuine conversation.
#11 Let a therapist’s help.
An experienced therapist can help by providing a safe space for you both as a couple to learn effective communication.
There may be something that’s holding your partner back from opening up; Perhaps an experience or trauma.
Their withdrawal could also be a result of how you’re communicating with them.
While your intentions may be in the right place, their lack of vulnerability with you could be in response to something you’re unknowingly doing.
Tip: With couples therapy, the real root of the partnership problem can be discovered.
Do you need some guidance on how to communicate better with your partner? Let’s set up some time to chat. Together, we’ll open the door to better communication between you and your loved one.
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