At some point or another, we all have difficulty with communication.
Included in the plethora of reasons why this can happen are emotional dysregulation, difference of interpretation, and even conditioned responses about what is and is not acceptable to communicate. Sound familiar?
Regardless of the reason, communication breakdown can really challenge the relationship (platonic or romantic) and can even sometimes lead to the relationship not being successful. If you are feeling like your communication could use a tune-up, here are a few strategies to implement into your next conversation!
Really listen to what the other person is saying
Are you hearing the content or are you just thinking up responses while the other person is speaking? Take a breath and aim to understand the other person's perspective. You can understand it and also not agree, but take time to consider whether your response is because you are upset in some way. It's ok for you to change your perspective after hearing new information AND it is also ok for you to still not agree.
Take Time and Be Present
Take time to consider what your point of view is before speaking it, take time to breathe before you communicate it, and take time to process the conversation in real-time. It might be uncomfortable to give the communication the time and space it deserves, but it will also ensure that everyone is on the same page. Being present shows your partner that you respect their thoughts and feelings and that you are willing to be uncomfortable to grow closer together.
Focus on Joining
If there is a problem that you are trying to solve through communication, focus on joining with your partner towards a solution rather than opposing them about the specific viewpoints. If they are having a hard time with something you are doing, ask how the problem can be solved (and then participate in brainstorming how you might find said solution). Remember that you are on the same side, you just see things from different perspectives. If there isn't a solution for a specific problem, you can also focus on joining by empathizing with your partner's experience of the situation.
Let us know in the comments if you try any of these or if you have any strategies that have worked well for you!