Make a New Year’s Resolution to strive for open and honest communication in your relationships. Focus on your listening skills and work to truly understand what your partner means when you communicate with one another. This can help deepen intimacy and foster a cycle of positive communication, as your partner will be more willing to reciprocate active listening when they feel heard.

An important part of open and honest communication is using “I Statements” and avoiding hurtful language. By using “I Statements” you are speaking directly to your feelings and experiences, which can help your partner, friend, co-worker, child, or family member understand why you are upset or how something has impacted you during periods of conflict. “I Statements” also help people refrain from using hurtful language and avoid blaming one another. They are less likely to generate feelings of defensiveness from the other person, which increases the likelihood of positive communication and conflict resolution.

When communicating with a loved one, remember to respect and validate their feelings. By letting them know that their feelings are normal and appropriate, you can help them feel understood and heard, strengthening your relationship.

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