One of the most important elements of a healthy relationship is good communication. You may rank other things such as good sex, common interests, or compatible personalities as the most important things you would look for, but in reality, these do not compete with communication in the long term. Just about everything boils down to the way a couple relays information because it is nearly impossible to not communicate.
“I want to feel understood”
“I want to feel appreciated”
“I want to feel connected to my partner”
These are some of the common requests that marriage counselors hear and I myself have heard in my practice. These are some of the fundamental things that people want to feel when they are in a relationship. You may even be thinking to yourself that you wish you could feel more of one or all of these in your relationship. It is true what they say, communication is key. As we communicate on many levels through our words, tone of voice, actions, and body language, it can be quite difficult to be aware of all the messages we are sending and receiving since we are constantly communicating. Many times we think of communication only as the words we say which as commonly reported, makes up only 7% of actual communication. The other 93% is reported to be non-verbal. Non-verbal communication is the way we say things (tone of voice), our facial expressions, and our actions.
There are many things we do that inhibit proper communication with the people we love. In upcoming entries, I will discuss some of these mistakes that people make in communicating and ways that you can work on improving your communication. As you work on your communication in your relationship you should begin to feel as though your partner understands you more, that they appreciate you, and therefore will also feel more connected to them. Since a relationship goes both ways, it may be helpful to work with your partner so you both may improve and reap the benefits. If that does not seem to be an option at this time, that is fine too. As you begin to act in a different way, those around you will respond to you differently as well.