Effective Communication in Relationships

What Does Effective Communication Look Like?

Effective communication is about being able to express your struggles, your emotions and your concerns to your partner without going into criticism or defensiveness. It’s being able to explain how a situation impacts you, how you feel about it and what your needs are.

Effective communication is taking in what your partner is saying, and being able to empathise without being defensive.

The Importance of Effective Communication

The importance of effective and healthy communication in the relationship is it creates a deeper connection. When we let our partner into our world and what we are struggling with, it brings us closer together. It creates harmony and builds trust in the relationship as you’re facing the issue together. It creates a partnership.

Failure to communicate effectively creates distance and conflict in the relationship as partners begin to feel misunderstood and neglected.

Tips for Healthy Communication to Avoid Conflict

**Active Listening**:
Active listening is the simplest yet the hardest thing that every couple struggles with. Listening to what your partner is saying and really taking it in and understanding and not just picking up on a few words or phrases. Allowing them space to express their view on the subjects and feelings without interjecting or persuading them of your point of view.

**Walk a Mile in Their Shoes**:
Walking a mile in their shoes is about truly understanding how the situation impacts your partner. Don’t just step into their shoes and assume you know what this situation is or how it impacts them. But walk a mile in their shoes and see the world from their perspective. This is what they’re communicating.

**Mindful Expression**:
Being mindful as you express your point of view on the subject to avoid criticizing, judging or shaming the other person. Being able to express yourself without blaming them, carefully choosing your words and phrases to avoid criticism and shame.

Maintaining that level of love towards the other person, even if you disagree with them, even if they’ve done something to hurt you, annoy you or make you angry.

**Speak from Your Point of View**:
When communicating, you focus on things from your point of view speaking about yourself and not about what the other person did. You’re explaining how the situation impacted you. We can’t describe someone else’s world because we don’t know someone else’s world no matter how much we know them. Using “I” statements is a great way to help you stay on track, “I feel” “I heard” “I did”.

**Take a Timeout**:
If emotions have escalated and you’re struggling with listening or avoiding criticism and judgment. Take a break! This gives you both a chance to cool off, reflect think about how to handle the situation better and come back with clarity. Timeout is not about avoiding the subject and not bringing it back up it’s just a moment to take a breath and recharge with positive energy.

**Seek Help When Needed**:
Ask for help when you need it because nobody was born with perfect communication abilities. We weren’t taught communication in school and chances are we haven’t had a perfect example at home. Effective communication is a tool that can be learnt and mastered. Seek a therapist or a counsellor. You can access the Learn How to Communicate self-paced course which has detailed steps on how to master communication in a relationship. Everything you need to learn about effective communication.

Q: What does healthy communication entail in a relationship?

A: Effective communication involves clear expression of thoughts and feelings, actively listening and taking in what your partner is communicating. A commitment to building empathy and creating a safe environment to express and listen to each other without criticism or judgment.

Q: Why is effective communication important in relationships?

A: The importance of effective and healthy communication in the relationship is it creates a deeper connection and builds trust. It creates a partnership.

Q: How can couples improve communication during conflict?

Couples can improve communication during conflict by listening. This is the most effective place to start. When we are in conflict emotions are heightened. We are so often trying to prove our point, prove that we’re not wrong. And we’re really not taking in what the other person is saying, what they’re struggling with. This makes both partners feel misunderstood, neglected and attacked which escalates the argument even further.

If you are in a conflict, the moment that you realize that the conversation is not getting anywhere, take a deep breath and go back to listening.

Q: What should individuals do if they’re struggling with communication in their relationship?

A: Individuals struggling with communication in their relationship need to learn the tools of communication. You can speak to a therapist or counsellor to give you tools for communication. You can book an appointment with Vanja Beric using this link, or grab the Learning How to Communicate for Couples course. It gives you a breakdown of all the steps on how to communicate effectively. What to do when communication fails, how to make your partner feel understood and supported and take-home exercises with lots of other bonuses.

Q: How can couples maintain healthy communication habits in the long term?

A: A couple can maintain a healthy communication habit in a long-term relationship or a marriage by building empathy. When we want to raise an issue with our partner we start from a place of wanting to understand the other person and understanding how we can support them. If we maintain the notion that we are not there to fix them, to change them or even to take their problem away but to support them. This can make all the difference in communication and relationships.

Maintaining healthy communication in a relationship is also about articulating clearly what you’re struggling with, what your needs are and how your partner can best support you through this.


Take the first step towards a happier, healthier relationship. Schedule your personalised session with Vanja Beric and embark on a journey of growth, understanding, and renewal. Start building the relationship you’ve always dreamed of.

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