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Relationships and Communication

When it comes to healthy relationships, there is no one-size-fits-all advice.
A good relationship is more than something we want—it’s something we need to be our happiest, healthiest, most productive selves. But at home or work, supportive, fulfilling relationships don’t come automatically. They take an investment in time and energy as well as communication and social skills that can be learned, Helpguide magazine reported.
If you are lonely, long for a better understanding of co-workers, or if romantic relationships have disappointed you, there are steps you can take to improve your communication skills, repair old connections, and build meaningful new ones.
Talk to each other. No matter how well you know and love each other, you cannot read your partner’s mind. We need to communicate clearly to avoid misunderstandings that may cause hurt, anger, resentment or confusion.

It takes two people to have a relationship and each person has different communication needs and styles. Couples need to find a way of communicating that suits their relationship. Healthy communication styles require practice and hard work, however communication will never be perfect all the time.

Be clear when communicating with your partner, so that your message can be received and understood. Double check your understanding of what your partner is saying.

When you talk to your partner, try to:
• set aside time to talk without interruption from other people or distractions like phones, computers or television
• think about what you want to say
• be clear about what you want to communicate
• make your message clear, so that your partner hears it accurately and understands what you mean
• talk about what is happening and how it affects you
• talk about what you want, need and feel – use ‘I’ statements such as ‘I need’, ‘I want’ and ‘I feel’
• accept responsibility for your own feelings
• listen to your partner. Put aside your own thoughts for the time being and try to understand their intentions, feelings, needs and wants (this is called empathy)
• share positive feelings with your partner, such as what you appreciate and admire about them, and how important they are to you
• be aware of your tone of voice
• negotiate and remember that you don’t have to be right all the time. If the issue you are having is not that important, sometimes let the issue go, or agree to disagree.

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