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If you have ever been in a relationship, chances are that you have had a moment or two where you felt like you were being misunderstood by your partner; where a slight miscommunication led to a full-blown quarrel; or where a break in communication had contributed largely to a breakup. Have you ever wondered why this was so?

Communication is inarguably crucial to every relationship. It is the key to a long-lasting relationship. No matter how great a relationship starts up as, it is bound to hit the rocks once there is frequent miscommunication or overcommunication between both parties. Yes, it is possible to over-communicate in your relationship; and over-communication can be just as bad as miscommunication. When you stress so much on little things, you over-communicate and this can be very frustrating to your partner.

So, how do you enhance communication in your relationship? How do you go from sacrificing your relationships at the altar of miscommunication to enjoying a great relationship where both partners communicate effectively? How do you avoid overcommunicatng in your relationship? Here are a few ways you can improve communication in your relationship;

1 COMMUNICATE DAILY – If you are in a romantic relationship, make it a point of duty to communicate as often as possible with your partner. Ideally, you should ensure to reach out to your partner daily especially if living separately. This does not only improve communication in your relationship, it breeds a feeling of togetherness and allows both partners to connect on a deeper level. Moreover, communicating daily ensures that there is little to no room for unpleasant surprises that could ruin a relationship.

2 LISTEN ACTIVELY – Most people fail to listen actively while in a conversation with their partner. Your physical presence during a discussion does not outrightly signify that you are listening to understand what is being communicated. Enter a conversation with the desire to listen with rapt attention and actually understand your partner’s perspective, rather than merely listening to respond flippantly.

3 DO NOT INTERRUPT! – Interrupting someone in the middle of a sentence can be off-putting even in the best of times. You do not want to come off as autocratic or as an unlistening partner when you make a habit of interrupting your partner during conversations. Ideas may indeed float in while listening to your partner. But rather than interrupt, make a mental note of those ideas and come back to them when your partner is done talking.

4 NEVER ASSUME – It is always so easy to jump to conclusions without waiting to hear directly from our partner. This practice is unhealthy and can kill off any relationship. It is important you talk to your partner especially over issues that are too big to ignore.

5 AVOID MAKING EXCUSES OR ACCUSATIONS – Have a rethink when next you are in a conversation with your partner and all you want to do is make excuses for your inappropriate actions. In the same vein, do not go into a heated argument with your partner by throwing accusations at him/her. A good way to discuss your differences is to start by communicating your feelings about her behaviour rather than focusing on and criticizing your partner’s behaviour itself.

6 DO NOT DWELL ON LITTLE THINGS – Dwelling on every little thing in a relationship tends to lead to over communication; and this could ruin any relationship. While communication is important for a healthy relationship, you must strive to strike a balance and determine what issues are worth stressing on.

7 MINIMIZE EXTERNAL DISTRACTIONS – Nothing can be more upsetting than having a phone (whether yours or your partner’s) continuously ring off its hook when trying to have a serious conversation with someone. As much as possible, minimize external distractions by keeping your devices away. Choose a suitable timing and a place where you both can discuss without interruptions from anybody. This does not only enhance your communication; but also shows how much you value and respect your partner.

8 SEEK SOLUTIONS – Remember that the way and manner with which you communicate with your partner makes a whole lot of difference. So, if there are issues that have arisen in your relationship, rather than seek to create more problems, you should aim to reach an understanding or find solutions to your problems. Spend time together communicating, so you can discover what the problem is; and then come up with possible solutions that would favour both parties involved.

9 DISAGREE OPENLY – Some people would rather keep silent than talk openly about difficult issues. While it is not advisable to dwell on insignificant issues, be sure that you are not so bent on avoiding disagreements with your partner that you sweep major issues under the rug. If you are upset about something, calmly discuss it with your partner. Bottling such negative emotions may see you expressing it in a passive-aggressive manner. Moreover, when you do not face conflicts as they arise, they gradually build into a larger issue that could end up breaking a relationship.

10 RECIPROCATE – A healthy relationship should never be one-sided. If your partner is making efforts at enhancing communication in your relationship, the least you can do is meet her halfway. Work together to build a strong relationship that you both can enjoy and take pride in.

Read Also: 8 Sure-fire tips for a strong relationship