Are you frustrated with your partner’s lack of communication? Do you have a partner that doesn’t like to talk? Even though communication is a really important part of a relationship, many of us have partners that prefer to keep personal issues to themselves, will shut down, or avoid important conversations. It’s actually really common […]
Are you frustrated with your partner’s lack of communication?
Do you have a partner that doesn’t like to talk? Even though communication is a really important part of a relationship, many of us have partners that prefer to keep personal issues to themselves, will shut down, or avoid important conversations. It’s actually really common in a relationship for one person to feel that they have a lot of things that need to be talked about and the other person to really not be interested at all in having those conversations.
Why doesn’t your partner like to talk?
There are a lot of reasons that people don’t communicate. Sometimes it can be cultural, where a person learned that you keep emotions private and to yourself as to not burden others by sharing it. It can also be because they lack the skills to have a hard conversation without getting angry or yelling and it is easier to avoid it or shut down. Other people may think that it is a waste of time because they don’t believe that it can be helpful or will make a difference. Whatever the reason may be, here are some ways to change that and get your partner talking.
5 Way to Get Your Partner to Communicate Better
1. Set up a good time to have a conversation. Make sure that you are choosing a time when your partner is relaxed. You probably don’t want to choose a time right after they get home from work after stressful day or before an important meeting. You don’t want it to be after they have been taking care of the kids all day and feel exhausted. Pick a time when they can be relatively stress free and focus on what is being said.
2. Ask them to share a story first and then segway into the topic you want to bring up. Most people like talking about and sharing their stories and experiences from when they were younger. Ask them to share an experience they had with you that is related to the topic that you want to talk about. This will also give you insight of their opinion on it. If you want to talk about how you will celebrate holidays with your children, first ask them to tell you about how they used to celebrate a specific holiday growing up. What did they remember enjoying or not enjoying? What memories do they have of their family celebrating that holiday? After they share their story with you, bring up your topic and connect it to what they shared with you.
3. Talk about the values you have in common. Start the conversation by discussing something you know you already both agree on. Let’s say the issue you want to talk about is not spending enough quality time as a family or as a couple. If you know that one of the values you have in common is commitment than that is what you start with. Talk about how you always had that in common, what that looks like to both of you, and what it looks like in your relationship. Discuss why it is value that you both think is important. From that conversation than bring up the issue about quality time and how that connects to commitment for you.
4. Identify a positive trait or characteristic that your partner has that can help solve the issue you want to talk about. By starting off with something positive and pointing out that they already have what is needed to talk about it will likely put them more at ease and get them to open up.
5. Connect what you want to talk about to something that they are interested in. Talk first about a tv show, movie, book, art exhibit, sports or any other hobby they may have. Try to find an example in what they are interested in. If you want to talk about a situation with your partner’s parents or your parents, try to find a character or situation that is or has experienced something similar. Talk first about what you and your partner observed, how the character or person might feel, and if you agree with the way they handled the situation. Then from there connect it to what you want to talk about it. You will already have discussed it from an outside perspective. This often makes it easier to address it personally.
Try out these tips and see what works best for you. You can also combine them and use more than one at a time. Before you know it, you will be enjoying better communication with your partner. Are you interested in more relationship techniques, strategies, and tips for multicultural and interfaith couples? Sign up for this FREE webinar: Let’s Talk: Overcoming Challenges for Multicultural and Interfaith Couples
Rorri Geller-Mohamed (email@example.com) is the creator of Mix, Match, and Blend: An Online Toolkit for Multicultural and Interfaith Relationships and the founder of U Power Change. She specializes in working with multicultural and interfaith couples as a therapist and relationship coach.