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  • Writer's pictureChoosing Love

5 Keys To Improve Communications

Updated: Jan 5

Communication breakdowns are a common issue in many marriages. Some

couples struggle with communication more than others do, and this can be due to

differences in personality and communication style. However, working to establish

clear and effective communication is key to enjoying a happy marriage in the long

term.


In order to improve communication in your marriage, there are five realms of

communication you must each work to strengthen. Let’s jump right in.


1. INFORMATION SHARING

Sharing information involves the ability to clearly and accurately state your

thoughts and feelings without losing yourself in emotion or getting off track. Being

able to articulate your thoughts and feelings in a way that’s easy to understand is a

skill some of us have naturally, but many of us must learn. The accurate sharing of

information means that we must sometimes slow down and think about how our

words are coming across to our spouse.


Evaluate your communication, particularly when you’re conveying information to

your spouse. Are you getting all the necessary thoughts out of your head so your

spouse has full context? Is it possible you’re assuming they know more than they

actually do? Are there details you’re leaving out that would help them better

understand your point of view?


2. LISTENING

When we listen well, that means we’re respectfully paying attention to our spouse’s

words and feelings. That way, they know we’re doing our best to understand their

point of view. Listening well goes hand in hand with empathy–an essential skill for

long-lasting relationships.


Echo your understanding to one another when you communicate to ensure you’re

accurately understanding one another. Be honest when you aren’t understanding

one another well, so that you can add clarity to the conversation.

Misunderstandings lead to further conflict, so it’s crucial that you master this skill as

early in your relationship as possible.


3. CONFLICT MANAGEMENT

Conflict management means remaining aware of whatever conflict we’re trying to

solve, and knowing what tools to use in order to both defuse the issue and move

past it together. In the midst of a misunderstanding or a fight, it can be easy to get

defensive and emotional. But reactivity escalates conflict, when what you want to

do is make it smaller–not bigger.


Take a pause when you feel yourself becoming defensive or upset. It’s beneficial to

take a breath and rethink the situation you’re dealing with. Sometimes, it’s even a

good idea to take a break from the disagreement for a little while and come back

fresh when you’ve had a moment to clear your heads.


4. PROBLEM SOLVING

Problem solving entails working together to efficiently and effectively reach a

desired outcome. Can you put your heads together and figure out what steps to

take next? Are your goals clear–with yourselves and one another? Have you found a

happy medium you can both agree on?


Take a little time to figure out your shared, desired outcome. Then, work together to

agree on the steps you should take to reach that goal. Two heads are better than

one, so use teamwork to your advantage to solve the issues that come your way.


5. SKILL SELECTION

Skill selection means the ability to effectively determine which communication skills

you should utilize at any given time, depending on the situation. Your ability to

decide which communication skill you should use in the moment can either help or

hinder your communication with your spouse.


For example, there’s an appropriate time to use humor, and an appropriate time to

be serious and silent. The skills you each choose to use will determine the tone and

outcome of your interactions. Carefully selecting skills for each situation will help

you navigate communication issues with greater ease in the long run.


DISCOVER HOW YOU COMMUNICATE

Getting deeper insights into how you and your spouse communicate will pay

dividends over the course of your marriage. Relationship assessments such as

SYMBIS+ give married couples a deeper understanding of one another’s

personalities, communication styles, and more.


Have you and your spouse mastered communication? What are the area’s that still

need improvement? What can you do individually to improve communication?


Provided by Dr. Les and Leslie Parrot

5 Keys To Improve Communication
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