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Healthy Communication

Healthy communication is a skill that you can learn through a lot of practice, just like riding a bike or swimming in a pool. These skills can help you talk openly about the great (and not-so-great) parts of your relationship and listen to your partner’s perspective.

Here are a few tips to help build good communication skills:

  • Check Yourself First – Before you start a conversation, check in with yourself. Consider if you’re feeling happy, sad, mad, scared, silly, or yucky. Sometimes, these emotions can show up in your body so check how you feel physically, too.
  • Clear is Kind – Body language can communicate a lot, but no one can read your mind. It’s important to be upfront about your thoughts, feelings, and boundaries in relationships.
  • Start Small – Oftentimes, people wait until something feels BIG before they talk about it. Try to talk about things early and often.
  • Assume Good Intentions – This means that you believe what your partner says without the need to “prove” themselves. If your partner has broken your trust or you’re worried about their actions, talk to a trusted adult or reach out to a Green Flags Pro.
  • We Need a Sarcasm Font – It’s easy to misinterpret DMs or chats. If you’re not sure what someone is saying through text, try clearing the confusion with a phone call, video chat, or in-person conversation.
  • Take a Break – If you (or your partner) get heated during a conversation, take a break. You can listen to music, take a walk, or just sit in a quiet space. When you’re angry or scared, the parts of your brain that help you communicate don’t work the same way as when you’re calm and relaxed. So, it’s always better to take some time to cool off.
    > Learn More: Coping Strategies

So, what does healthy communication look and sound like?

  • I feel really sad when I hear unkind words about me. I need a partner who says things in a kind way.
  • I am upset that I couldn’t spend time with you yesterday. I really appreciate it when we have a balance between our relationship and our friends. What does that look like for you?
  • I feel frustrated and annoyed when I am asked over and over again about the same topic. What I need is a clear boundary about this topic. Can we talk about that?
  • I feel unsafe when I am asked for my password. I need to have a partnership that respects our digital rights.

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