Communication in relationships

Relationships are an intricate part of the human existence. Our most intimate relationships can be the source of our most complex emotions and behaviours. Working through difficulties can be both challenging and stressful, therefore the more honest we are about how we truly feel in a relationship, the greater the opportunity to work through the emotions that are causing the relationship to be problematic.

Trying to change a relationship without understanding our emotions and feelings is impossible. So understanding how others feel and indeed, how we truly feel ourselves, can be the key. Describing and sharing your feelings with the significant people in your life will allow them to know a little piece of your inner-world, and in return, a piece of theirs. Good constructive communication is the basis for developing and maintaining happy relationships.

I have put together a few tools to help develop communication within our relationships:

Keep dialogue open

Keeping dialogue open is imperative in allowing a relationship to develop and flourish. The purpose of talking about feelings in relationships is for others to understand them and for us to understand the feelings of others. Discussing these feelings is learning to accept our own and those of others.

Describe feelings with your partner

Describing feelings can help others understand how their behaviours and actions affect our inner-world. Feeling free to express our feelings and emotions is a vital aspect of good communication in intimate relationships. Very few of us have ever been trained or encouraged in the language of feelings. As children, we knew our feelings well and we expressed our feelings spontaneously and creatively. As we grow older and became more cultured and socialised, the focus on feelings becomes less and less important. Refocusing on how we truly feel in a situation and relearning how to express that feeling productively can help create a greater understanding in our relationships.

Focus on the problem, not the person

When a disagreement turns to personal insults and raised voices, the conversation is no longer productive. Be careful to focus on the problem without placing blame on others. If a disagreement becomes personal, you should stop the conversation. Try to maintain a constructive approach.

Know when to take a time-out

When the conversation is becoming fractured or personal it’s a good idea to take a time-out. Have a plan in place so you can call for a break when needed, you don’t want this to appear controlling so arrange a keyword for taking time-out so that the other person understands why you are doing this. Spend some time doing something you find relaxing, then resume the conversation at a later time when both parties have had time to consider.

Work toward a resolution

Disagreement is a normal part of any relationship. If it becomes clear that you will not agree on something, focus on a resolution instead. Try to find a compromise that benefits all individuals. Ask yourself if this disagreement really matters to your relationship, and let yourself move on if doesn’t matter.

Final note

Relationships are a fundamental aspect of social life. How we act and behave can have a profound effect upon the direction and longevity of our relationships. As human beings we have many different ways of dealing with our thoughts and feelings. The most fundamental way we deal with our feelings is to conceal them from others and even ourselves. We suppress them, deny them, or just simply try to pretend they don’t exist. Denying our emotions and the emotions of others can cause barriers and fundamental problems in relationships. Understanding our emotions and the emotions of others is key, but sometimes even with our best efforts life leads us down different paths.

This poem is from one of my clients, who wrote this at a crossroads in her life and really gets across how she was feeling at the time. My client wanted me to share this with others who perhaps are going through a similar situation. She wrote this whilst sitting in a side room in court waiting for solicitors to finalise negotiations on her divorce. I feel this poem gives a true message that life does indeed go on.

The End of the Old and the Start of the New

Divorce… such a sad affair;

What went wrong, when, where?

We tried so hard, but to no avail.

After so many years it all went stale.

We shouted and cried,

But it was too late… Love had died.

Divorce must take its course,

Heart-breaking and long, at least it seems to me.

Will it ever end, will I ever be free?

What of the children in all this?

What do they miss?

That secure family life

I wanted for them so badly;

Instead we created strife

And then parted so sadly.

They coped so well, better than me at times.

But what are they really feeling,

Reading between the lines?

Regret, bitterness, relief?

Who knows?

They make sure it never shows.

My daughter’s loyalty has been abounding.

For a thirteen year old she is astounding.

My boy- he’s very confused,

He’ll come round in time,

And once again be mine.

At last the end is in sight,

Another hour should see the end of the fight.

Things will still be hard, I know that,

But I shall be going forward in a different “hat”

The “hat” of worth and independence

Will spur me on with confidence.

Please God give me strength to persevere and say-

“Tomorrow is a new chapter’s first day”


How can hypnotherapy help relationships?

Hypnotherapy can help your relationship in numerous ways. It can teach to you how to relax and improve your confidence. Hypnotherapy can also help with developing self-belief and self-confidence which are often key to starting new relationships and maintaining them. Good communication in relationships is about opening communication and this can not work unless you are subconsciously prepared.

Hypnotherapy Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Written by Christopher Willingham Mncp, BA (Hons) Psychology, Dip Hyp, Dip (CBT) (ClinSup)

I am a leading Hypnotherapist/Psychotherapist who works at respected clinics across the UK. I specialise in helping clients to deal with Anxiety disorders, Addictions, Weight Management and aggression. I am a registered practitioner with Anxiety UK and the CNHC with whom I'm a Local Champion, promoting safe practice and codes of ethics.… Read more

Written by Christopher Willingham Mncp, BA (Hons) Psychology, Dip Hyp, Dip (CBT) (ClinSup)

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