When it comes to communication exercises for couples, it’s important to note that sometimes you’re going to need to impose a time for yourselves when you’re going to be together and talk. So you can designate a “catch-up night” two times a week, for 15 to 30 minutes where you just fill each other in on what has happened in your independent lives during the week. The more you do this, the more natural it will feel to open up to each other about what you’ve had going on, what you felt, what you did, so on and so forth.
It’s all about creating new patterns in the relationship.
Communication exercises: Reflective listening
Another one of the exercises that we give our clients who are working on improving communication in their relationship is called “reflective listening.” It’s quite simple and it consists of paying attention to what your partner is telling you and then repeating it back to them.
“I understand. So what you’re saying is that you’d like for us to spend more time together.” That way, your partner feels heard and understood and you two can work together to find a solution to the issue at hand.
Communication and relationship building activities: The 15 minute rule
The hardest time to communicate properly is when one or both of you are upset. The next time an argument occurs, I encourage you to incorporate a 15 minute rule in which the couple separates for 15 minutes to really think about their stance regarding the issue, and then they reconnect and talk.
Giving yourselves a moment to take a step back, analyse and cool down can really help you to communicate better, even when tensions are running high.
Then give each other 3 to 5 minutes to really express themselves without being interrupted. You can even use a timer here.
Mirroring each other can help communication
This might sounds strange to you but people feel more connected to those who have the same mannerisms as they do. This can actually help your relationship if you mimic your partner’s body language, if you mimic their tone of voice (especially when it’s calm!), and their pace of conversation. By mirroring your partner, they will subconsciously feel relaxed and connected to you.
It’s a subtle thing, but it can make a pretty big difference in the atmosphere that you set.