All of our relationships, whether professional or personal, rely heavily on communication. However, open communication is a critical component of a successful marriage or relationship. When couples practice open communication, they are more likely to confront big difficulties verbally, avoiding unpleasant circumstances.
So, what does it mean to communicate openly? This literally means communicating effectively and openly without fear of being judged or the conversation devolving into an argument. Open communication is basically a vital ingredient for long-lasting relationships.
But then many of us lack strong communication skills. It’s possible that we don’t feel comfortable expressing our wants, or that we just don’t know how to Thankfully, open and honest communication skills may be developed with some effort. For starters, here are some rules to abide by.
Open Communication Rules
Below are some rules to follow when it comes to communicating openly whether in a marriage or relationship (romantic or casual).
#1. Be Timely
Important discussions should not be postponed, but then they should also not be launched at inconvenient or inappropriate times either. What we mean is do not bring up your bedroom problems during the Super Bowl or start a serious conversation on your way to a Christmas party.
Make a plan to talk if necessary. Set aside some time so that neither of you is surprised by the conversation. And never start a dialogue when you’re too angry to perceive your partner as anything but a horrible friend. Wait till you’ve relaxed a little.
#2. Be Flexible
Conversations, especially profound ones, rarely go easily or according to plan. They veer off on tangents here and there, with unexpected remarks here and there. So when speaking with your partner, don’t be rigid. The more invested you are in how the conversation should go, the more dissatisfied you will be with the outcome.
Move with the conversation, bend with it, and be present with what’s going on between you two. You can still convey what you need to share, but you may have to do so in a different way than you anticipated. And that’s OK.
#3. Be Patient
Have you ever found it difficult to explain yourself? Have you spent a lot of time trying to come up with the right words? Well, we’ve all experienced moments like that. Hardly can anyone communicate flawlessly especially when it comes to expressing your feelings.
It’s then crucial to be patient with your partner while they learn to communicate. Prepare your comments when they’ve completed discussing their points of view. With patience and openness, listen to what they have to say.
#4. Be Intuitive
We’ve all been misunderstood at some point, and it’s never fun. Consider how many times your words didn’t reflect your feelings. When you chat with your partner, there’s more going on than just words. Everything that is said is based on energy. So to tune into it, use your intuition.
It’s critical to listen with your heart rather than your mind, especially if you’re with someone who has difficulty communicating. Don’t just concentrate on the words; experience the energy that surrounds them.
This isn’t a reason to alter your partner’s words and intentions in your head. It’s a chance for your heart to see them for what they are.
#5. Be Accepting
When you’re loaded with judgment, it’s tough to communicate with love and clarity. Accept your spouse, regardless of what’s going on, and interact from there. When we are judged, we either get defensive or shut down, neither of which promotes open communication.
We invite our partners to reveal themselves in a more open and honest way when we let them know we embrace them, whether through words or energy.
#6. Be Honest
Honesty is probably the most vital aspect of your conversation with your partner. Nothing authentic is being communicated if what you’re saying isn’t truthful. As much as you can, speak your truth with clarity, compassion, and tenderness.
When you avoid telling the truth because you’re afraid of how it’ll be accepted, you’re merely erecting more barriers in your relationship. You’re always reinforcing the strength of your connection with your partner when you share your truth from a place of love, regardless of the response. You must be truthful.
What does Open Communication Look Like in a Marriage?
Couples in a good and loving marriage or happy relationship chat freely, honestly, and feel safe sharing their most personal views.
When problems come up, they share their concerns and sentiments openly, and when things are going well, they express thanks.
When couples communicate openly, both spouses speak respectfully rather than accusatorily or with harmful or derogatory statements.
Rather than interrupting their partner and pointing out what’s wrong with what they’re saying, they listen carefully and try to understand what they’re saying with empathy.
The pair feels good about the communication and that their worries have been recognized and acknowledged at the conclusion of it.
Here are some open communication strategies to help you become a better and more open communicator with your partner.
Listen and Model the Way Good Communicators Speak
Spend some time observing how people you admire communicate. Well-spoken folks who know how to present a message in a courteous and pleasant manner abound on television news, radio, and podcasts.
Identify the aspects of their communication style that you enjoy:
Do they have a calming voice?
Do they pose good, thought-provoking questions to their audience?
When other people speak to them, do they show that they are paying attention?
Try to adopt the aspects of their communication methods that you enjoy into your own.
Speak Softly to be Heard
Good public speakers understand that speaking softly is the key to getting your audience to pay attention. This forces the audience to pay attention and open their ears. This is something you may do with your spouse as well.
Communicate with them in a compassionate manner. It will not only show warmth and friendliness, but it will also allow them to listen to what you have to say.
Raising your voice, yelling, or shouting is the fastest way to end a conversation.
Give Your Partner a Sense of Security
This will undoubtedly encourage them to open up to you. Make use of a communication style that conveys a sense of security. Words of encouragement, together with a calm voice, can help your spouse communicate effectively with you. You can easily borrow statements like;
“You can tell me whatever is bugging you.”
I swear I’ll listen to you without interrupting.”
This facilitates connection by allowing the other person to open up without fear of criticism or negativity. But then it’s hardly about making those statements. It has more to do with following through with what you have said.
Show That You Are Listening
When there is a natural gap in the conversation, re-stating parts of what your partner has just said in a new way will demonstrate that you are involved, present, and truly listening to them. Consider the following scenario:
“It appears that you are now dissatisfied with your work. What you said about your supervisor irritates me as well. “What can I do right now to make you feel better?”
Using words in this manner demonstrates:
That you are aware of your partner’s problem, and
You are prepared to assist them.
Make Space for Silences
We sometimes need to think about what we want to say before we say it (which is a smart strategy to avoid saying something we don’t mean). Open communication in marriage or relationships entails more than just exchanging words. Allow for some breathing room in your conversations.
Even if you only need to say, “Hmmmm….let me think about that one,” it shows your spouse that you are paying attention and simply need time to process what was just stated.
Again, Timing is important
You don’t want to start a serious discussion as you’re leaving the house to take the kids to school. Plus you’ll want to postpone a serious discussion if you notice your spouse is tired from a long day at work or irritated over anything that happened that day.
We can’t always have wonderful, open communication, but we can choose the greatest, most-opportune time to communicate so that everything goes as smoothly as possible.
If you want to build up conditions for a productive back and forth between you and your partner, be aware of your schedule, mood, and other factors.
Having said that, if something needs to be addressed, do not wait too long. To avoid resentment in relationships or marriage, open communication is key.
It’s counterproductive to think about a subject in silence.
Just make sure you start the conversation at the right time to receive the results you desire from open communication.
Respect Your Partner’s Viewpoints, Even If You Don’t Agree With Them
When you and your partner disagree on something, one of the most crucial communication techniques you can utilize is to say something like this:
“I understand your point of view, but I disagree. “Are we able to agree to disagree?”
These two statements indicate to your partner that you have listened and comprehended what they have said. It also permits you to respect your own feelings by allowing you to honor your own perspective.
Finally, it involves your partner in the decision to agree to see each other’s points of view, even if they differ.
This is a very respectful technique to de-escalate a situation that could escalate into a conflict and encourage open communication.
Couples must work together to find the best, most productive strategies to create healthy communication in their marriage and relationships. One of the best ways to stay emotionally connected with your spouse is to be able to maintain a pleasant conversation.
In addition, honest communication helps to bridge the distance between spouses and deepens their bond.
Make time each day to put some or all of the open communication suggestions above into practice. Your marriage, relationships, and sense of well-being will be enhanced as a result.
Open Communication FAQs
Why is open communication important in a relationship?
Better communication between you and your spouse leads to increased trust, which leads to more confidence. Communication tactics that are effective might help you and your partner feel safer.
What is meant by open communication?
When the sender and receiver disclose all of the information required for both of them to accomplish their given roles, this is known as open communication. There is no hidden purpose or information misrepresentation. Effective communication facilitates open conversation.
Why am I so bad at communicating in a relationship?
A prominent reason you might be having trouble communicating is that you haven’t fully handled an unpleasant event in your relationship. Try to bring up these issues with them and figure out what you both require in terms of open and honest communication. You’ll very certainly come up with different responses.