Tips for Effective Communication in a Relationship

February means candy hearts and Cupid’s arrows, but what if you and your sweetheart aren’t getting along?

Whether you’re single, dating or promising forever, all relationships take work. We’d like to offer some tips on being a better communicator when things get complicated.

“First, it’s important to understand that sharing your thoughts and feelings is not only beneficial for your mental health, but also a way to engage in healthy problem solving with your spouse or significant other,” said Beth Santine, director of clinical services at New Directions.

New Directions is an independent company that provides behavioral health services for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

Keep the following in mind:

  • Talk about the tough stuff — at an appropriate time. Decide together when it’s a good time to discuss an important topic. Prepare your thoughts so you can keep the conversation on track.
  • Listen to both sides. Don’t raise your voice when a disagreement occurs and make it a point to try to understand where your partner might be coming from.
  • Talk about how you feel without placing blame. Your partner is less likely to react defensively if you share your feelings, rather than accuse them of something.

At the end of the day, learn to appreciate your differences — even if it involves your communication styles.

Valentine’s Day or any day is a good time to work on improving your communications skills and your relationships. For more tips and to access a library of resources on relationships and other behavioral health tools, visit Click on the Resources tab and then on I Need Health Resources.

This blog post was provided courtesy of New Directions

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