Healthy relationships: build them with communication

Communication is about sharing a part of who we are with another and then (drum roll, please) receiving a message back. (Yes, a two way street, since two people are communicating, right?) Think about it this way: communication is both informational and relational. When we communicate we convey both important information (i.e., “You have toothpaste on your nose.”), and how we feel about the person with whom we have the relationship (i.e., saying, “You have toothpaste on your nose,” in a kind way if you want a nice relationship versus in a mean and ridiculing way if you don’t really like someone).

Relational information

Often when we are communicating in a relationship we are extremely focused on the relational aspect – HOW others are communicating with us (although we sometimes don’t pay enough attention to just how we are communicating with others). When you say something to your partner, you are not just waiting for the information in the response, but you are waiting to hear if he or she (pick one):

even heard you

likes you

believes you

trusts you

thinks you are cool

hates you

finds you gross now

disagrees with you

_______ (you fill it in)

You can tell these things not only by what is said, but by how it is said. And if you are feeling insecure at all, you can often read into the smallest things and make them into something they are not. That’s why knowing yourself and feeling confident about your self is the first step to a healthy relationship!!

Open communication

But, it’s completely natural to feel insecure at times, especially when you are in a new relationship at a young age. To make sure those insecure feelings don’t sabotage (meaning, ruin) your relationship, think about committing yourself to open communication. But don’t confuse “open communication” with non-stop talk such as “then the turtle peed on me, and the smell was awful and my mom grounded me after I had ramen noodles and peanut butter for dinner ….” Just openly communicate thoughts and feelings that you think are relevant to the health of the relationship.

That means:

telling your partner when something upsets you (pretty straight forward, right?)

asking for clarification when you are unsure about something (seems logical, no?)

communicating in a positive manner (hmmm… feeling stumped?)

Keep it a two-way street

Keeping it a two-way street means communicating in a positive manner by being mindful of your tone and not name-calling or assuming the worst in your partner. For instance…if your partner forgot to call you last night like she said she would, you could say, “You never called me last night! Why not? Don’t you care about me? How could you be so thoughtless? Were you with someone else last night?” Or you could say, “You never called me last night. Is everything okay with you? I really missed talking to you.”

(Holding your feelings in isn’t fair either. A partner can’t fix what he doesn’t know and he can’t read your mind. However, before you jump into a conversation about your feelings, take the time to process them so your communication feels like less of an effort.)

Communicating in a positive manner helps forge a healthy relationship, but it’s not a stand-alone principle. Other principles and practices of healthy relationships go hand-in-hand with it. Read on to learn more!

Post Question:

What helps you to communicate well?

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  • WLKHS1207
    Posted at 02:54h, 12 November Reply

    Personally for me to communicate well, the person would need to have an open mind and be understanding and not be judgmental. Also like it said in this chapter, for me to have good communication I would want to have a “two-way street” with the person.

  • WSKHS1403
    Posted at 17:27h, 09 November Reply

    For me to communicate with someone, I have to make sure that the other person is capable of doing the same. Because the not, the relationship between us will eventually be broken.

  • WLKHS1303
    Posted at 16:34h, 08 November Reply

    Personally, the other person’s attitude and body language helps If a person is happy and they are smiling, it will be easier to speak to them freely and without the fear of judgement. If the person is negative it will be harder to speak with the person.

  • WLKHS2118
    Posted at 15:38h, 07 November Reply

    Communication is all about understanding each other and making in clear what you want/ what your trying to do. To improve communication you have to clearly state what you want and also have to be a very good listener in order to understand the other person. Both listening and talking have very important and vital for building relationships and better communication