Updated: Aug 19, 2019
Talking to your partner is easy (duh). You talk about what you want to eat for dinner, what you did during the day, how awesome your dog is. Easy, fun, stress free conversations. Until the time comes where you might not be able to have an easy, fun, or stress free conversation. Eventually, you're going to have to have a difficult subject come up where you both may not see eye to eye on something. Maybe you need to express a concern to your partner, or even worse, they may need to express a concern to you (gasp)! This difficult subject may make you mad, may make them mad, and is likely going to make you both mad. And when you're mad, you both might get so frustrated that you no longer can communicate calmly and that one issue turns into something much bigger. All because of improper communication.
Here are a few tips for you to use the next time you and your partner are having a difficult conversation. Following these tips will ensure your conversation remains calm, on topic, respectful, and productive:
1. Hold eye contact during the entire conversation. This shows that you are paying attention and fully listening to what your partner is saying.
2. Smile. Though it may seem difficult to smile during this time, smiling will keep your stress down and may also help your partner to bring their stress down as well. Plus, your partner may mirror your smile which can help lighten the mood a little bit.
3. Touch each other. Gently hold each others hands or simply put your hand on their arm or their knee. This physical touch will remind your partner that they are in a safe and welcoming environment, no matter what is going on.
Remember to use these three simple strategies during your next difficult conversation. They may be all you need to ensure a productive, harmonious resolution.