IMPROVING COMMUNICATION IN RELATIONSHIPS

Think, for a minute, about how you would define COMMUNICATION …

Simply put, COMMUNICATION is the process of exchanging information, all types of information.

The basic principles of effective communication within relationships center around four themes:

(1) Communication is a never ending process because everything that each partner says or does transmits information whether that be through verbal or non verbal means.

(2) Couple Communications have two dimensions, a content dimension, which is the overt message; and a process dimension, which indirectly makes a statement about the relationship between the message sender and the message receiver. It is strongly influenced by the context in which the message is given.

(3) Couple Communication contains an evaluative statement. In healthy relationships, positive evaluations may be made verbally or nonverbally, while negative evaluations need to be expressed in words as requests for change.

(4) In healthy relationships, communication is processed in such a way that the positives are addressed first which then lead into addressing a few of the more important timely requests for change. Dissatisfied couples, limit positive expressions and frequently express negative messages.

Lets not forget effective communication begins with active listening which can be demonstrated by these six steps:

1. Facing and maintaining eye contact with your partner when possible.

2. Nodding, smiling, and frowning or providing other appropriate nonverbal responses while your partner speaks.

3. Waiting for your partner to complete a message rather than interrupting to express your own ideas.

4. Refraining from offering unsolicited advice, comments, or criticism that stops your partner’s expression.

5. Asking questions only to increase understanding, not to fix blame.

6. Making certain that you do not allow your own biases to interfere with your listening.