Communication lies at the heart of any relationship. It’s one of those vital skills that we can all get better at and need to keep on top of. Below are some helpful tips to go from 3 minute check ins to deeper connections and ultimately thriving relationships.
1. Leave phones outside the bedroom
Or if you can’t do that, leave them turned over as soon as you enter the room or put phones out of reach for an evening a week.
You get the principle. Give your partner some undivided attention with eye contact and positive body language on top. I recently read a stat that says the average couple spends 2-4 minutes each day connecting. (@Marriage365) How crazy is that? For our relationships to survive we absolutely need to be connecting for more time than this. For more helpful tips and ideas, click here.
2. Share something meaningful with your partner
Make a mental note of something that happened during your day that you’d like to share with your partner. Discuss beforehand when is best to connect (during the kids’ dinner time is probably not the best choice!).
Take turns to share what happened and how it made you feel. If you’re struggling for feeling type words, have a look at this. http://feelingswheel.com/
The listening partner must wait until the other has finished and then ask questions to fully understand and clarify what the other has said.
3. Listen to your body
Understand how your body is reacting and then relay it to your partner.
If you’re feeling stressed, under pressure and can’t answer you partner right there and then, explain that you’re not in the best place to respond. Ask if you can chat about it later. Then make sure you do, rather than brush it under the carpet.
4. Talk in a safe place
If there’s something that you are both really struggling to communicate about, ask a trusted friend (or it might be a pastor, church leader, counsellor) to be there when you have this conversation (with both of you on board with this obviously!).
It can feel safer to talk because you’ll both be more controlled in how you respond to each other when there is someone else listening.
5. Go for a walk or a drive
It can feel a little easier talking about difficult subjects if you’re not immediately responding to body language or staring right at each other. A walk or drive allows more time for silence and gives you more time to respond.
If you are wanting more on the topic of Communication, go to Toucan, our free relationship tool, where you will find lots more content, stories from real couples and practical advice.
You can also join us as we look at this topic and more at our ‘A Day Together’ events too. Lots more dates are in the pipeline and if you sign up to our enews, then you’ll be the first to hear about our next events.