Communication Strategies to Develop for Healthy Relationships

A couple experiencing communication difficulties went to a counselor to discuss upcoming changes in their relationship, as the wife was about to embark on a new career path.

During the session, the husband seriously answered that he had no problems with his wife changing … as long as she was the same at home!
One thing is for certain, change always happens and communication skills are critical to the success of your relationship.
Some of these changes may be welcomed; others might be less inviting.
How prepared are we to handle our responses in a productive and co-operative manner?

Here are 6 communication strategies which will set in motion a nurturing chain of events within your relationship.

1. Breathe.

During any confrontation when you find yourself getting tense, take a few seconds to breathe. Do not say anything. When we get fearful or anxious we hold our breath and our bodies go into “fight or flight” mode (the sympathetic system). The part of the brain that helps our reasoning actually shuts down to prepare us for a fight. Taking a few moments to focus on your breath will help to relax your body. This will lead to you being more responsive than reactive. It will engage your nervous system in such a different way that will allow you to seek options and negotiate solutions.

2. Active Listening.

Turn your failing communication with your partner into something positive. Start by inviting your partner to share. Give them time to express themselves. When it’s your turn to talk, repeat what you’ve heard without injecting judgment or solution. It’s a tough habit to develop at first, but communication in a relationship is well worth the effort. You will notice greater trust developing in your relationship as the need to be heard and acknowledged is respected.

3. Think outside of the box.

We all have our beliefs about who should do what within a relationship. Be willing to consider the opportunity to expand your perspective. Imagine a different angle and be surprised at how you gain greater insight into the situation. When we look for new ways to understand an experience we engage our brains in a more creative way.

4. Express your Emotions.

These ultra-charged powerhouses of energy will shake your relationship if you let them. Practice observing your emotions throughout the day when you’re calm and not highly charged in conflict. It will help you decipher what you’re really feeling and then allow you to communicate more gently when you need to.
Acknowledge your Differences. Over time everyone changes, and sometimes we may grow beyond the scope of what works best for both partners in a particular relationship. It takes courage to let someone grow when it confronts your fears or insecurities.

5. Be true to your own heart.

Counteract the negative nagging of limiting beliefs by spending time in meditation. This will help you to confront those unseen barriers and live a life in harmony with your true self.

Encourage yourself to practice healthy responses on a regular basis.
Start by just noticing your response in communication in your relationships .. whether responsive or reactive .. and build upon that.
The right communication strategies will ensure healthy relationships will develop for you one event at a time.

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