Tips for Healthy Communication

Calm Down. Take a break for at least 30 minutes to really calm down. Otherwise, it is easy to slip back into an emotionally charged conversation and to say something hurtful.

Express Complaints. Bringing up a complaint about a specific issue or behavior is actually one of the healthiest activities a couple can engage in (e.g., "When you fail to call me to let me know you are going to be late, it makes me feel like you aren’t considering my feelings and the fact that I will worry about you").

Speak Non-Defensively. This kind of language usually includes speaking with a soft voice, beginning with "I feel…" statements rather than "You…" statements.

Listen Actively. Listen by giving full attention. Focus on your partner and put away whatever you are thinking about or doing. Listen to the emotions and needs being expressed. Understand from the other person’s point of view.