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How to Communicate in a Relatioship


Henry Roose

Marion Fekete

Writing 151

6 December, 1996

The hardest skill to master in order to maintain a successful, loving

relationship is communication. Being unable to express one’s thoughts clearly

and accurately is a heavy burden to bear when trying to hold a conversation. It

often causes misunderstandings and unnessary arguments. Plainly expressing one’s

thoughts is a lesson that many do not learn. The staggering number divorces in

recent years may be the effect of ill-communication. Even with all the

conveyances of modern day (cellar phones, modems, pagers), important ideas,

somehow are not being expressed. In a relationship one can easily misinterpret

a statement and become upset. Openly expressing full thoughts, and carefully

listening to what your mate is saying are two worthy and helpful tips on holding

up the communication bridge.

Many times, people become frustrated at their partner’s lack of

understanding. Unfortunately, no one can read minds. That fact makes it of the

utmost importance to be able to let your mate in on what you are thinking. How

can he or she possibly do what you want them to do if he or she does not know

what it is that you are wanting. Always present thoughts and ideas as clearly as


Sarcasm is often a pitfall for communication. When a person states an

idea one way but means it in a totally different way, it is no wonder that he or

she will be misunderstood. With just a slight change in the tone of voice, which

many times may go unnoticed, the sarcasm might lose its’ humorous connotations

and accidentally become hurtful.

This is also true with facial expressions. They can be misinterpreted

and then become a stumbling block for the rest of the conversation. When

talking with your partner keep in mind that 75% of what we communicate is body

language. Be careful not to imply anything with facial expressions or other body

language that you do not intend.

Expressing full, complete, ideas are extremely important. If you are

mad, tell your partner that you are and tell him or her the reason of the

aggravation. If you express an emotion, be ready to describe it and expose

its’ cause. It is important that you have enough trust in your partner that you

can tell him or her anything.

?There is much to be said about a good listener. They are kind,

compassionate, and humble.? The ability to listen to someone and fully

understand him or her is definitely a talent. Such a talent is admirable. If a

healthy and fruitful relationship is the goal its’ members should strive to

become better listeners. There is much benefit in such a skill.

In order to be a good listener a person has to be willing to wait till

the speaker is finished speaking to respond. A good listener cannot assume

anything. This skill does not allow the listener to formulate arguments while

listening. You must give the speaker your complete attention.

To Many times when people have arguments or even mere conversations they

constantly interrupt each other. This makes it difficult to present complete

ideas. When someone interrupts you with a statement you will probably respond to

that statement because it has deterred your focus to a different point. When you

respond to the other person’s interrupting statement, it makes it much harder

for that person to understand what it is that you are trying to say. You lose

the chance to explain yourself completely when you are interrupted and therefore

interruption becomes a break in the bridge of communication.

Remember the saying, ?Assumption makes an ass out of you and me?? That

phrase is particularly true when it applied to communicating. Many times a

listener will listen ?between the lines? and misinterpret the speaker. Assuming

a speaker’s subject or purpose causes a collapse in communication that is

painstakingly hard to correct, taking valuable tine and energy.

Formulating arguments and/or responses to a speaker’s statements

requires time. The time, however should not be the time during which your

partner is speaking. Your partner deserves your complete attention. If you wait

to hear the speaker’s full thought and can more accurately respond to him or her.

To successfully uphold the bridge of communication in a relationship,

partners most both be willing to become better at expressing themselves

completely and thoroughly, and to try harder at becoming a

better listener. This will take time and practice, but with persistence the

skills will develop. Communication is the key in relationships. Whether the

relationship will be a success or a total disaster depends heavily on the

partners’ communication skills.

I have presented a number of valuable tools that can drastically help

communication in a relationship. I have laid out specific instructions on how to

listen and how to express yourself in ways that do not confuse you or your

partner. Please heed my advice and uphold the priceless bridge of communication.

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