Couples communication and improving relationships

What is communication?

Everything that passes between two people is communication. That includes words, eye contact, body language as well as seeking or avoidance behavior.

What is unskillful communication?

Everyone has seen unskillful communication and the distress it can bring. "You always ignore me and go straight to the TV" or "Why don't you ever cook any thing I like" It's fairly obvious that these types of communications will make the other person defensive and unlikely to respond positively.
But think of the reaction for these communications "I enjoy talking with you so much. Do you think we can set aside a little time to talk in the evening?" or "I really like that dish that you made last week. Do you think that you could make it more often?" More likely to get a positive response, don't you think ?

Helpful hints on communicating

Helpful hints on negotiating

Blocks to communication

Communication is really the tip of an iceberg representing a larger, whole person underneath. If common sense techniques fail to yield the results that you want, further exploration can help. Each of you has an idea of how relationships "should be" based on your upbringing and based on other relationships you have each had. It is likely that each of you has unresolved emotional issues from the past.

A word of caution

The communications comments and techniques listed below are for educational purposes only. They should only be reviewed or used when two people have a generally respectful relationship (i.e., when there is no history of actual or threatened violence).