Communication is key in relationships. But you may have reached a point where you are beginning to feel that you have said it all. You may not be sure what to talk about after how to get the kids to where they need to go or what needs to be done around the house. There may also be taboo subjects like in-laws or sex. You may like the idea of a date night, but the thought of sitting in awkward silence is not overly appealing. Improving your communication skills may be just what is needed to feel more excited about spending time together. Becoming aware of the attitudes and behaviors that help or kill conversation is a place to begin.
Having to be right is a conversation killer. Trying to manipulate or force your partner to agree with you will not encourage continued conversation. It is extremely important to always be respectful of each other’s opinions.
Ongoing complaints and criticism are also conversation killers. Having a negative focus may make one or both of you avoid talking to each other.
Being dismissive or making light of your partner’s feelings or thoughts will make it difficult for them to continue to share their thoughts with you.
Verbal assault is a conversation and relationship killer. Unleashing a poison tongue on your partner may help you vent your anger, but it will build resentment in your partner and create a divide between the two of you.
Curiosity encourages quality conversations. Ask your partner questions. Remaining curious about your partner will help you grow closer to them. It feels good to be known and to know about each other.
A willingness to share—to be honest and vulnerable with each other will increase the depth of your conversations. It will help you feel more connected. Remember that you need to create safety for each of you to be open and vulnerable.
Choosing Compassion and Kindness
Strive to understand each other’s opinions, thoughts and feelings. Always be respectful, especially when you disagree. Learn to disagree agreeably.
Make what is important to your partner, important to you. Show interest in your partner’s interests. Make an effort to learn more about those things that fascinate your partner. But be aware that there are going to be some topics that will never be of interest to one or the other of you. Work on finding topics that you can both enjoy talking about.
With a little effort you can hone your skills in the art of conversation and become the couple that looks forward to date night and talking with each other. There are certain attitudes and behaviors that are conversation aids and others that are conversation killers. The more you can avoid the conversation killers and make use of the conversation aids the more pleasant your time together will be.