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Improve Communication in Your Relationship with Emotional Intelligence

In this article, I tell you how to improve communication in relationships. Effective communication is a quality that most of us desire in our relationship. Rightfully so, since effective communication is needed to make relationships work. As a relationship coach, improving communication is a goal 9 out of 10 of my clients set for us to work on.

There are a lot of articles and resources on the internet that provide tips on how to become a more effective communicator. So why do people need me? Why should you hire a relationship coach?

The articles and resources I’ve come across fail to address a crucial component of effective communication, that I’ll cover in this article. The communication tips given focus on your delivery and listening when communicating with your partner—communication styles, tone, non-verbal communication, etc. These things are important, which is why I compiled a list of 10 Communication Mistakes Couples Make & How to Fix Them, but just mastering these tips, alone, won’t make you a more effective communicator.

If these tips were enough, you wouldn’t be an overthinker, you wouldn’t go back and forth in your mind about whether or not to bring up an issue to your partner, and you wouldn’t say things that you later have to apologize for.

But you do overthink things, you don’t know if you should say something, and sometimes you do say things out of anger that you don’t mean.

How do you become a better communicator?

To become a better communicator, you have to master what other resources ignore before these common communication tips are helpful. The common tips shared are effective when improving communication in a workplace (a common focus of the articles). But if you’ve tried implementing them in your romantic relationship, you probably weren’t as successful.

What’s the difference between communicating with a colleague and your partner? Emotions. That’s the difference.

A large part of the tips and resources out there ignore the role emotions play in communication.

At work, we tend to aim to be more logical than emotional. Even if you are frustrated or stressed at work, your emotions likely won't rise to the level of the emotions you experience in a disagreement with your partner. Why can’t you apply the same logic to communication with your partner? Because,


The human brain doesn’t allow it. Trust me, I’ve learned this the hard way. As an attorney, I’ve always prided myself on my ability to be more logical than the typical “emotional woman.” But it came a time when my emotions were just too strong. That’s when I had to learn to understand my emotions and how to communicate them effectively.

It took me years to master my emotions and improve my communication. But don’t worry, in this article, I give you the cheat code to understand your emotions and improve your communication so you can start communicating your desires, needs, and boundaries to your partner immediately.

Let’s start with a basic definition of emotional intelligence and understanding how it makes us more effective communicators.

Emotional intelligence is your ability to (1) identify, understand, and manage your emotions, (2) understand your partner’s ability, and (3) use this awareness to benefit the relationship (e.g. avoid unnecessary conflict).

black couple communicating

7 ways Emotional intelligence improves communication:

  1. Self-awareness: People with high emotional intelligence are more aware of their own emotions, thoughts, and communication styles. This self-awareness allows them to express themselves more effectively, leading to clearer and more authentic communication. and understand how their words and actions impact others.

  2. Empathy: Understanding and empathizing with your partner’s emotions is a key aspect of emotional intelligence. When communicating, emotionally intelligent individuals consider the feelings and perspectives of their partner, allowing them to respond with sensitivity and understanding.

  3. Active listening: Emotionally intelligent individuals practice active listening, where they pay full attention to the speaker, understand their message, and respond appropriately. They listen not only to the words being said but also to the emotions underlying those words, fostering deeper understanding and connection.

  4. Non-verbal cues: Emotions are often communicated through non-verbal cues such as facial expressions, gestures, and posture. These cues often convey more about a person's emotions than their words alone. Emotionally intelligent individuals pick up on these cues and adjust their own communication accordingly.

  5. Expressing emotions: Emotionally intelligent individuals are comfortable expressing their own emotions in a healthy and constructive manner. They can communicate their feelings assertively yet respectfully, which encourages openness and vulnerability in conversations.

  6. Conflict resolution: Effective communication is essential for resolving conflicts constructively. Emotionally intelligent individuals approach conflicts with patience, empathy, and a willingness to compromise. They focus on understanding the underlying issues and finding mutually acceptable solutions rather than escalating tensions.

  7. Adaptability: Effective communication requires adaptability to different situations and individuals. Emotionally intelligent individuals are flexible in their communication style, adjusting their approach based on the needs and preferences of the other person.

Emotional intelligence improves communication by fostering empathy, active listening, self-awareness, and effective emotional regulation, leading to more meaningful and harmonious interactions with others.

Many couples struggle with communication because they don't understand the emotional undercurrents of their interactions. I am not just a relationship coach, I am a certified emotional intelligence coach. I help women understand their emotions and their partner's to avoid unnecessary arguments, navigate conflict with greater ease, and create stronger, more fulfilling relationships. 

I work with my clients with these 7 things. But as I tell my clients, You don’t need to master all of these skills at once, in fact, you won’t. The first component of emotional intelligence is self-awareness. That is where we are going to start.

The first step to becoming a better communicator is learning how to process your emotions before going to talk to your partner. You never want to respond based on your first reaction which is going to be emotional. You want to make sure you take time to process your emotions. Processing your emotions in advance will help you deliver your message effectively.

Here are 5 steps to process your emotions & become a more effective communicator.

Step 1: Acknowledge, Identify, and Feel Your Emotions

  • Start by acknowledging your emotions. Don't judge them, just accept that you're feeling something.

  • Get specific about your emotions. Go beyond basic terms like "sad" or "angry." Are you feeling hurt, disappointed, frustrated, or something else entirely?

  • Allow yourself to feel your emotions.  Sometimes we try to push our emotions down, but this can make them stronger in the long run.

Step 2: Understand the Cause and Triggers (Feelings Aren't Facts)

  • Identify the trigger: What specific behavior or event caused your emotions to shift?

  • Remember, feelings aren't facts. Just because you feel something doesn't mean it's objectively true. Explore the reasons behind your emotions.

Step 3: What's the Message: Decoding Your Emotional Needs

  • Ask yourself: What are my emotions trying to tell me? Are they a sign that you feel unsafe, your needs aren't being met, or there's a deeper issue at play?

Step 4: Consider the Other Person: Is This a "Me," "Them," or "Us" Problem?

  • Take a step back and consider the situation from your partner's perspective. Could your emotions be stemming from something within yourself that needs work? Or is this a communication issue that requires a joint effort?

Step 5: Identify the Desired Outcome: What Do You Want to Achieve?

  • Before approaching your partner, determine what you want the outcome of the conversation to be. Do you simply need to vent and express your feelings? Or do you need a specific change in behavior from your partner?

By following these steps, you can gain a deeper understanding of your emotions and communicate them effectively with your partner. Don’t be fooled, just because you and your partner improve your communication doesn’t mean your relationship will be rid of conflict.

Conflict is inevitable, it’s how you deal with it that makes or breaks your relationship.

While your relationship won’t be problem-free, you will experience less conflict, and the conflict that you do experience, you’ll be able to resolve it a lot quicker.

Comment below and let me know if this was helpful.

If you and your partner want more help improving your communication, click here to schedule a free consultation.




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