It's commendable that you want to improve the way you talk to your boyfriend -- without healthy communication, your relationship may be filled with conflicts and challenging to sustain over time. Learning to communicate effectively takes sincere effort and lots of practice, but doing the work to create a healthier relationship should be well worth the effort. Whether you find it difficult to express emotional sentiments to your boyfriend or struggle to maintain effective communication during conflicts, practicing solid communication skills can help you improve the way you talk to him.
Show him respect. When you show your boyfriend respect, it indicates that you're considerate of him and care about his feelings. One way to show respect during conflicts is to express how you feel without insulting him or placing blame. You can express that you are angry without calling him names or blaming him for things without hearing his side of the story. Also, practice active listening skills -- which indicate that you are sincerely listening to his point of view -- by not interrupting him and nodding as a gesture of understanding.
Practice anger and stress management. Health professionals at Help Guide, a non-profit, online mental health resource, explain that whenever you're angry and stressed, it is difficult to communicate effectively until you have calmed down and can think and express yourself rationally. Whenever you find yourself getting angry with your boyfriend, ask him for some time to calm down, and go take a walk or spend time alone taking some deep breaths. When you return, you'll be better able to communicate with him.
Write down your thoughts and feelings. If your communication difficulties stem from feeling nervous about expressing your emotions to your boyfriend, writing down your thoughts and feelings before sharing them with him gives you some time to process what you're thinking and feeling, and allows you the chance to get comfortable with these thoughts and emotions so that you will feel comfortable sharing them with him.
Focus on what's right -- not who's right. In a 2012 Huffington Post article, Rory Vaden, New York Times bestselling author and self-discipline strategist, suggests that couples focus on which behavior is correct or incorrect during a disagreement, as opposed to emphasizing who's right or wrong. For example, it's more effective to address your boyfriend's habit of leaving his clothes lying around your home, as opposed to calling him "sloppy." This focus helps you improve the way that you talk to your boyfriend by eliminating name-calling and blame when there are issues in your relationship. It can also help to look for chances to point out when your boyfriend does something you like. Compliments make your boyfriend feel good, they reinforce the behaviors you like in a kind way and they help you talk to your boyfriend in a more loving way.
Practice, practice, practice. If you've had trouble effectively communicating with your boyfriend in the past, then it's going to take some practice to improve the way that you talk to him moving forward. Refrain from reverting back to old communication habits, such as yelling and inattentively listening. Share with your boyfriend that you're attempting a new communication style with him, and ask him to support you during this process. Whenever you make a mistake, apologize to him, forgive yourself and continue practicing until your communication style improves.
- Gather additional suggestions from health and relationship professionals, as well as trusted friends and colleagues, to learn more about effective ways to communicate with your boyfriend. Be patient with yourself, and learn from your mistakes.
- Don't give up just because it takes a while to become a more effective communicator. Don't be judgmental of yourself if you don't get it right 100 percent of the time, either -- it's about progress, not perfection.
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