Open and honest communication should be part of every healthy relationship.Lack of communication in relationships results in conflicts. Conflict in a relationship is virtually unavoidable. Conflict isn’t a problem however how it is handled brings people together or tears them apart. Poor communication skills, disagreements and misunderstandings can be a source of anger and distance, or it can even be a springboard to a stronger relationship and happier future. Next time you’re dealing with conflict or need a healthier communication, keep these tips in your mind.

For healthy and effective communication, try to follow these steps:

Stay Focused:

Sometimes it’s tempting to get past seemingly related conflicts while dealing with current ones. Unfortunately, by doing this, it often makes the issue bigger and finding mutual understanding and a solution to the current issue less, and makes the whole discussion more taxing and even confusing. Try not to bring past issues or any other topics as it hurts. Stay focused in present, with your feelings; understand one another and finding a solution.

Listen Carefully:

People often think they are listening, but they are not. They are thinking about what they’re going to say next when the other person stops talking. Truly effective communication goes in both ways. While it might be difficult for you to listen, but try listening to what your partner is saying. Don’t interrupt or get defensive. Just hear them silently and then you can reflect it back later after they have done speaking, so they know that you have heard. Then you can understand them better and they will listen more of you willingly.

Try To See Their Point of View:

When in a conflict and anger, most of us primarily feels heard and understood. We just blabber about our point of view to get the other person to see things our way. There is very little focus on the other person’s point of view, and nobody understands each other’s point. Try to see others point of view, and then you can explain yourself better.

Respond to Criticism with Empathy:

When someone comes and criticizes you, it’s easy to feel that they’re wrong, and get defensive. While criticism is often exaggerated by the other person’s emotions making it hard to hear. But it is still important to listen for the other person’s pain and respond with empathy for their feelings. Also, draw attention to what’s true in what they’re saying; that can be valuable information for you

Own What’s Yours:

Realize that personal responsibility is your strength, and not weakness. Effective communication involves accepting when you’re wrong. If you share certain responsibility in a conflict always look for it and admit to what’s yours. It sometimes resolves the situation, shows maturity and sets a good example for the other person to realize his/her fault. It also often inspires the other person to respond in kind way, leading you both closer to mutual understanding and a solution.

Look for Compromise:

Instead of trying to ‘win’ the argument all the time, find solutions such that it meets everybody’s needs. It can happen through compromise or a new solution that gives you both what you want most, this focus is much more effective than one person getting what they want at the cost of other’s expense. Healthy communication involves finding a resolution that both sides can be happy with.

Take a Time-Out:

Sometimes tempers get heated up and it’s just too difficult to continue a discussion without it becoming an argument or a fight. If you or your partner starting to get too angry to be constructive, or showing some destructive communication patterns, it’s normal to take a break from the discussion until you both cool off.

Don’t Give Up:

While taking a break from the discussion is sometimes a good idea, to cool your mind and always come back to it with a fresh mind. If you both approach the situation with mutual respect, a constructive attitude, and a willingness to see and understand each other’s point of view or at least come to a common solution, then you can make progress towards the goal to resolve the conflict. Don’t give up on communication unless and until it’s time to give up on the relationship,

Ask For Help If You Need It:

If one or both of you has some trouble staying respectful during conflict, or if you’ve tried resolving conflict with your partner  taking a step ahead on your own and the situation just doesn’t seem to be improving, you might take help from a therapist with few sessions. Opting for counseling or family therapy can also provide help with your conflicts and teach skills to resolve future conflict.