If you’re reading this blog post, chances are you and your significant other have hit a snag in the relationship. Maybe you’re spending less time with each other, and you’ve grown apart. Or perhaps you do little else than argue these days.

All relationships go through their ups and downs. No matter the good intentions of the individuals or how in love you were when the relationship began, it is entirely natural for a relationship to take a hit now and then.

In some ways, these trials can be a good thing. Much like you need to break down muscle to build it up more robust than before, many relationships can be strengthened by challenges, provided your communication is healthy.

Here are some ways to improve communication in your relationship:

1. Recognize the Change

It’s essential to be open and honest with yourself and each other. Don’t deny that something has changed in your relationship; admit it openly. You may also need to recognize that each of you has changed over the years. None of us stays the same. Our wants, needs, passions, annoyances, etc., change as we mature and grow as people. People can usually accommodate this change as long as they admit it has happened.

2. Validate Each Other’s Feelings

Two words are compelling in communication, “Yes, and….” Effective communication is not about one person being right and the other wrong. Often, both people are right and allowed to feel their feelings. Try not to attack the other person or get them to compromise on issues. Instead, focus on being heard and hearing the other person.

3. Be Ready to Change

If you want to improve your communication to get the other person to change their ways, you are all wrong about this communication thing! Good communication is not about winning an argument. Communication is not a debate class. Your goal is to share better your thoughts, feelings, ideas, hopes and struggles. Don’t focus on getting the other person to change; focus more on how your behaviour could change.

4. Breathe

Managing your emotions is one of the essential skills for interpersonal interaction. How often are you ready to blow when you and your spouse or partner speak to each other? How does the communication break down once you or your partner have become emotional?

When communicating with your partner or anyone, should you feel your emotions rise, stop, take a slow, deep breath, and let it out? Taking this moment is essential and will help you not say something you’ll regret or escalate the situation.

None of us are perfect. All we can do is try to be the best versions of ourselves we can be for ourselves and our loved ones. By following these communication tips, you will strengthen your relationships.

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