6 Minutes To Improve Your Relationship: How To Have Better Communication With Your Partner

 / 

,
Minutes To Improve Your Relationship?

If you are thinking about how to improve your relationship, then you have come to the right place. How to better communicate with your partner? Communication is crucial to building a healthy relationship, and this article is going to talk about that. Let’s explore how to have better communication with your partner.

KEY POINTS

  • The three keys to communication are speaking openly, listening empathically, and reflecting back.
  • We usually skip reflection, so the speaker does not know if they have been heard.
  • A simple practice of reflection can build this skill.

Does your partner listen to you as well as you wish? As often as you wish? Do they listen at all?

Here’s a harder question: Do you listen to your partner as well as they wish? As often as they wish? At all?

Are you raising a child with someone—either together or as ex-partners—and have trouble being on the same page? Or even in the same book?

Whether you are just getting to know one another, newlyweds, new parents, or long-time partners, a simple reflection technique can dramatically improve communication in your relationship.

Related: 6 Ways To Improve Communication In A Relationship

6 Minutes To Improve Your Relationship

3-2-1

Just as you (should have) learned in kindergarten, everything goes better when you take turns. The 3-2-1 technique is no different. One big plus is that the turns are only six minutes long. And even better, you don’t have to keep quiet for the whole six minutes!

I’m not suggesting it is always easy to be in communication with someone for six whole minutes, but it is good to know that the conversation won’t go long into the night.

Step 1

Whoever goes first speaks for three minutes. Use a timer. The other person listens silently.

Speak from the heart about whatever is on your mind, or whatever you wish to share. When the timer goes off, finish the thought in just a few words, don’t sneak in extra time. It is tempting to keep going because, of course, you have more than three minutes worth of things to say!

And you have a person really listening, for a change. But stop when the timer goes off. That is key to this technique. You will see that it is better to have a few statements fully heard and reflected than to talk and talk with no listening and no reflection.

The listener listens with their whole heart, not on alert for how to score points or win an argument. Just listen.

It is highly recommended to practice several times with casual or non-threatening topics before you try it with anything combustible. It’s hard to learn and practice something new while speaking and listening to the most difficult things you have to talk about.

You can also practice with a friend who doesn’t trigger you as much as your partner or ex-partner.

How to improve your relationship

Step 2

After the first timer goes off, set it again for two minutes. The listener uses that time to reflect back what they heard. They can use exact words or a paraphrase, but don’t make interpretations or leaps of judgment.

Stop reflecting when the timer goes off.

This is not a reflection: “You said you don’t care where we go to eat, but I know you really do care.”

This is a reflection: “I heard you say you don’t care where we go to eat.”

It is also not a reflection to lash out with an emotional reaction to what you heard. These are not reflections: “How dare you say that!” “I knew you were going to say that!” “That’s not what happened!” “You sound just like your mother!”

Related: 3 Reasons Why Communication Is Crucial For Sustained Intimacy

Step 3

Set the timer again for one minute. The original speaker responds in that minute to the reflection they received. This could be something like, “Thank you for listening, you really heard me,” or “You got some of it, but you missed the part where I said xyz,” or “I’m not sure you understood, let me repeat the key point.”

It’s best not to open up a brand new topic in this last minute, because there isn’t space for it to be reflected back.

Steps 4-6

Switch roles and repeat the three first steps. Set the timer for three minutes again, with the original listener speaking first this time.

The new listener listens for three minutes, then takes two minutes to reflect back what they heard.

The original speaker of this round then takes one minute to respond to the reflection.

Now what?

The goal of 3-2-1 is not instant resolution of a longstanding conflict, or sudden agreement and warm fuzzy vibes. The goal is simply to experience being heard, and to experience thoughtful listening.

So many conversations involve little or no real listening, and we just repeat ourselves or escalate our volume or language to try to be heard. That just makes it harder for the other person to listen.

After 3-2-1, the hope is that problem-solving conversations and conflict resolution can be much smoother and more effective, because of how you’ve practiced speaking and listening to one another.

How to improve your relationship

This practice ripens over time

It is best to start with one round each way at first. If you practice a while and like the technique, you might go a few rounds at one sitting, or you might set up a regular schedule for 3-2-1 listening.

One or both partners may need some practice (or a lot of practice) before they can reflect accurately without interpretations, emotional reactions, or arguments.

Related: How To Improve Your Active Listening Skills? 10 Easy Ways To Be A Better Listener

If you can, appreciate the moments of good listening and good reflection, instead of pouncing on the failures. That will help the other person improve.

Try it! 3, 2, 1, go!

Want to know more about how communication can improve your relationship? Check this video out below!

How to improve your relationship?

Sign up for Lawrence J. Cohen’s newsletter by emailing “subscribe” to newsletter@playfulparenting.com.


Written By Lawrence J. Cohen 
Originally Appeared On Psychology Today
how to improve your relationship

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply



Up Next

How Healthy Relationships Can Improve Your Physical Health

How Healthy Relationships Can Improve Your Physical Health

Healthy relationships are crucial for feeling happy, positive, and also physically healthy. The physical benefits of healthy relationships are a lot, and this article is going to talk about that in detail. Let’s find out the importance of having strong and healthy relationships.

Humans need humans to survive.

It’s no secret that a healthy relationship can bring joy and happiness to your life, but did you know that it can also have a positive impact on your physical health?

From reducing stress levels to boosting your immune system, there are many surprising health benefits to being in a happy partnership. Read on to learn more.

We are social creatures who thrive on strong, healthy relationships with friends, colleagues and family me



Up Next

When You Refuse To Let Go Of Someone You Love, Even When They Don’t Love You Anymore

Why You Should Let Go Of Someone You Love

I get it. You don’t want to let go of someone you love. Even when it’s clear that it’s over. Even when it’s clear that it is time and things will only get worse from here. Yet, you want to hold on just a little longer. But if you truly love someone let them go.

“No! No! It’s fine. It’s absolutely fine. It’s working. Listen to me, I know it’s working. This is normal. Show me a relationship that doesn’t have problems. I will make it work. I know I can. Just give me a little time. Just a little more time. Please, just bear with me for a second here. Please. Don’t take it away from me yet. Please. It’s not time. It can’t be. Will you just listen to me once for god’s sake?”

But deep down you know it in your heart. You just know it. It is screaming at you. And even though you may pretend you



Up Next

7 Warning Signs Of Losing Yourself In A Relationship And How to Rediscover Your Sense of Self

Signs Of Losing Yourself In A Relationship

Are you starting to feel like you have lost yourself in a relationship? Do you have this persistent feeling that you don’t know who you are anymore? You know, that feeling when you are so caught up in someone else’s world, that you forget who you are? Well, these are just some signs of losing yourself in a relationship.

Believe it or not, this is actually quite a common feeling, and lots of people experience this. If you have ever felt like you have lost yourself in a relationship, then this article can be a godsend for you.

Let’s delve into the all those signs of losing yourself in a relationship, so that you can stop yourself from doing so (at least to some extent!). And not just this, we will also talk about what to do when you lose yourself in a relationship. So, are you ready to explore this? Let’s go then!



Up Next

How To Let Go Of Someone You Are Desperately Trying To Hold On To

How To Let Go Of Someone You Are Trying To Hold On To

Do you know what happens when you desperately hold on to someone you really need to let go of? When you hold on to the idea of “us” and refuse to see the reality for what it is? You force the person you love the most in the world to hate you. You compel them to resent you. And in this process, you hurt yourself more than the other person did. This is why it’s crucial that we talk about how to let go of someone you don’t want to lose.

No one wants to let go of love

Especially when it’s the real deal. Especially when you’ve been told you are not worthy of love all your life. And this one person comes into your life and completely changes



Up Next

15+ Quotes From “Bridgerton” That Depict Obsessive Yearning

Best Bridgerton Quotes About Love And Romance

If you like romances and things from the Regency era, these Bridgerton quotes show how obsession can be a form of longing. This Netflix series features several love stories in which the characters experience intense desire and emotions.

Through eloquent dialogues and passionate interactions, “Bridgerton” powerfully reveals the aspirations that motivate its characters.

The series effectively frames the relationship between Daphne and Simon as an embodiment of smouldering attraction while at the same time conveying other major figures’ secretly yearning for each other.

Here are some Bridgerton quotes about love that perfectly sum up obsessive yearning.<



Up Next

TikTok’s Ultimate Couples Psychometrics Test: Which Iconic Pair Are You and Your Partner?

Couples Psychometrics Test: Fun Results Of Fictional Couples

Do you want to explore your relationship dynamics in a fun and insightful way? Take this Couples Psychometrics Test, the newest sensation making waves on social media, particularly TikTok!

Forget zodiac signs and typical personality quizzes; this one goes further to study your compatibility with your partner’s and give a famous fictional couple from TV shows or movies as your match.

This is a test attempts to find the perfect on-screen duo for you. It checks out our personalities, styles of communication and other oddities that make us real-life couples.

For those of you who are just wondering about which legendary pair represents your love story in th



Up Next

10 Signs You Are A Rebound And Nothing More

Signs You Are A Rebound And Nothing More

The dating world can sometimes feel like you are on a wild roller coaster ride of emotions, full of exhilarating highs and heart breaking lows. And you might find yourself unknowingly become someone’s rebound. But how do you gauge that? What are the signs you are a rebound, and nothing more?

Being someone’s rebound means being an emotional pit stop for them; it’s like they are taking a short break where they are seeking temporary solace before moving on for good. It’s not a good place to be in, honestly.

Today, we are talking to talk about all those glaring signs you are a rebound, so that it’s easier for you to decide if you want to remain one, or let go and wait for someone who gives you the love and respect you deserve.