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How to Promote Effective Communication in Relationships

By Doug Hewitt ; Updated June 13, 2017

Communication is an important aspect in maintaining a good relationship. While some communication may be vague and guarded, other communication is of a higher, more discernible quality. According to the University of Michigan Health System, the quality of a relationship is directly related to the quality of the communication in the relationship. One element that affects communication is self-image. A person who has a positive self-image may be better able to express opinions and thoughts. Certain techniques can help you promote effective communication in your relationship.

  1. Improve your self-image. Find ways to feel more confident about yourself, whether by improving your lifestyle, losing weight or obtaining more education. A poor self-image can cause miscommunication by mistaking comments made in a relationship as criticism.

  2. Make your desires known. Not only will you become more effective at communicating your own desires, but you may be making it clear that it is all right for the other person in the relationship to communicate her desires openly.

  3. Listen effectively. This can involve body language as well. You may be listening, but when you fidget and look away, it may send signals that you are not listening. It is important to let the other person in the relationship know that your thoughts and ideas need to be listened to also.

  4. Share your life. When you have a relationship with someone, you can let that person know what you have done during the day, what you’ve been thinking about, what amused you and what made you angry. By sharing your inner self, you will also be promoting the other person in the relationship to open up by showing how to do it.

  5. Support openness by not being critical. Being critical of your partner's expressed thoughts may make him feel less like expressing himself. While you can be honest about your reaction to expressed thoughts, focus on the positive and use a positive tone in your response to help promote effective communication.

  6. Be responsive. When you are responsive to the needs and thoughts of someone else in a relationship, you are promoting responsiveness in the other person.

  7. Tip

    Negotiating can be a way of promoting more effective communication. When people in a relationship have different goals, negotiation can help them get what they want and improve communication at the same time.


    Ineffective communication can lead to painful revelations in a relationship.

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