Communicating Openly and Honestly In a Relationship

Communicating Openly and Honestly In a Relationship

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Communicating openly and honestly in relationships create the environment for the relationship to grow and overcome challenges.

Honest and open communication can impact a relationship by creating desirable points of contact and interaction. These in turn create a broader communication environment free of anxiety and fear in which the relationship can thrive.

Rather than looking at the good or faulty communication that create undesirable outcomes, it is more beneficial to someone desirous of creating a better communication environment to focus on the outcome of the communication rather than the communication itself.  Focusing on the points of contact and interaction created by the communication forces us to pay more attention to how we communicate in our relationship.

This approach provides more insight and motivation to institute the necessary changes in how we communicate. We are better equipped to change when we understand and can visualize the consequences of the communication in terms of the desirable or undesirable points of contact and interaction it generates.

We hope you find this approach very helpful. 

Communicating Openly and Honestly In a Relationship – The Obvious Benefits

 Having open and honest communication is one of the most important commitments couples can make to each other and their relationship. Some of the obvious benefits of communicating in an honest and open manner in an intimate relationship are: 

  1. Builds rapport  
  2. Builds emotional intimacy 
  3. Reduces misunderstandings 
  4. Clears up misunderstandings in a timely manner 
  5. Reduces the incidents of relationship anxiety 
  6. Builds trust  
  7. Builds empathy    

However, as desirable as these outcomes are, the nature of intimate relationship makes it challenging to achieve them consistently.

Next we will look at how communication in an intimate relationship is different from communication elsewhere.

How Is Communication in A Relationship Different?

Is communication in a relationship different from communication elsewhere? The answer has to be definitely yes. A communication can be broadly defined as sending, receiving, or exchanging information, but within an intimate relationship setting, it takes on a more personal tone and emotion

For that reason, we can say that communication within an intimate relationship environment is markedly different from anywhere else. 

In intimate relationships, deep emotional points of contact and points of interaction are likely to be the result of communication.

Honest and open communication is more likely to result in desirable points of contact and desirable points of interaction.

Communication – Points of Contact and Points of Interaction in Relationships 

communicating openly and honestly in relationships

Communicating allows us to create points of contact and points of interaction with someone else. This is as applicable in an office or formal environment as much as it is applicable in a relationship environment. Just by saying “hello” to someone creates a point of contact and interaction of a certain form. 

In an intimate relationship there are likely to be a wider array of points of contact and interaction than anywhere else. These  to a large extent determine the type of relationship we cultivate with our partner. 

For example, a couple who makes it a habit to kiss each other when they leave for work or come home from work for that matter, is establishing a certain form of interaction and point of contact that is important to their relationship. On the other hand, a couple who just says bye or hi to each other when they leave for work or come home from work is establishing a different form of interaction in their relationship, deliberate or not. 

The couple who wishes to discuss their differences establishes a point of contact and interaction that is very different from the couple who decides to berate each other over their differences. 

How Communication Creates and Establish Points of Contact and Points of Interaction in Relationships 

In a relationship, the points of contact and points of interaction are either deliberately established or by default. A couple mad with each other, or one partner mad with another, refusing to talk to each other, is creating points of contact and points of interaction defined by silence. The silence or refusal to speak with each other creates and sends messages between the partners that define the points of contact and interaction that they experience with each other. These points of contact and points of interaction are most definitely going to be unpleasant for both partners.  

A couple that speaks softly to each other for the most part in their relationship is establishing different forms of points of contact and points of interaction from a couple that is constantly yelling at each other. 

How These Points of Contact and Points of Interaction Affect Relationships 

Often times couples make the mistake and think that it is the communication in their relationship that is responsible for communication related problems. It may sound as if, of course, when the problems are related to communication then the communication or lack thereof must have led to the problems. Well, there is nothing wrong with that thinking. But what is more helpful is to think about the points of contact and points of interaction our communication creates.   

We are more likely to solve the issue of communication if we look at how they are formed, how they affect usand how they affect the relationship.We are now able to identify the pain points which these points of contact and points of interaction create. 

Just think of it like this. Your partner shouting at you is an undesirable way to communicate. But what is the nature of that point of contact and point of interaction with you? What are the messages they send? Possibly that he or she doesn’t care or respect your feelings. What about anger? No one likes anyone being angry in a loud manner with them. Whatever you say in anger, true or not, relevant or not, it is not what is being communicated, it is the hurt you feel. And that is what is likely to damage the relationship. 

Forms of Communication in Relationships That Are Responsible for Points of Contact and Interaction 

 There are several forms of communication that can create these important points of contact and interaction in a relationship.

They can be categorized into active and passive forms of communication.

The active form consists of actions such as the verbal, and other physical actions. The passive form of communication consists of actions such as the emotions, and even the silent treatment. 

All of the above, whether active or passive, can create memorable moments either to be remembered joyfully or to be forgotten.  

Let’s look at how some examples of these actions can communicate to our partner any of these moments. 

Examples of Either Creating Desirable Points of Contact and Interaction or Not 

You and your partner have a difference of opinion on how much to spend on your vacation. Rather than treating it as just a difference of opinion, you accuse your partner of being “cheap” while he or she accuses you of being a “spendthrift.” This situation just creates an awful interaction between the two of you. 

The above is an example of one form of active communication that can result in undesirable outcomes in relation to the point of contact and interaction created.  

A better outcome could have resulted if you both chose to be honest about the basis of your opinion and sought to respect each other’s opinion rather than indulging in denigration. 

The passive form of communication is capable of either of the above two outcomes. For example, you are mad at your spouse for very good reason. Rather than honestly expressing your anger and have a discussion about it, you choose to stew and remain emotionally aloof. Wrong as your partner may be, he or she is experiencing not so much your anger, but the undesirable points of contact and interaction your behavior is creating. This may be what you desire – let him or her suffer. But think about what you may be really communicating – that you are being cruel. 

Being just honest and open about your feelings would be more beneficial to the relationship.

 Seeing communication from this perspective is likely to open us to the realization of what we are really communicating and creating, and forces us to take stock of our own communication. 

But how does this really help and enhance our relationship? How does this create a more healthy environment for our relationship?

Next, we will take a look at the benefits of this approach to our relationship. 

How Communicating Openly and Honestly In Relationships  Create Desirable Points of Contact and Desirable Points of Interaction 

couple communicating

Communicating openly and honestly in a relationship takes practise, and at times even courage. However, the benefits are immense for the relationship. Relationships can easily be thrown off-course by anxiety, mistrust, misunderstandings, and a lack of emotional intimacy. Communicating openly and honestly reduces the likelihood of these outcomes in the relationship.

So let’s us look at how communicating honestly and openly creates desirable points of contact and desirable points of interaction.  And how these in turn create and maintain the necessary building blocks for the relationship.

Steps To Communicating Honestly and Openly In A Relationship

In a study on “Honesty and Relationships,” the researchers found that “honesty is also an important factor in optimism toward relationship survival.”

When partners in a relationship is comfortable that the other is being honest, they are more optimistic about the relationship.

This optimism can only lead to a greater level of commitment to the relationship by both partners.

Open and honest communication in a relationship is extremely important to the health of that relationship.

7 Rules For Communicating Openly and Honestly in Your Relationship

Here are 7 rules to apply to ensure that you are communicating in an open an honest manner. It is not enough that you know that you are being open. You must also be able to convince your partner that you are being honest and open.

  1. Be flexible and be open to change your mind. Remaining fixed in your own opinions when it would be reasonable to think otherwise could come across as too self-absorbed.
  2. Attend to wrongs done in a timely manner. If you have done wrong and know it, do not be tardy in apologising. It shows you care to accept responsibility for your wrongs before being asked to do so.
  3. Maintain focus on the central issue being discussed. Do not come across as wanting to change the conversation to suit your agenda or opinions.
  4. Be seen as receptive to feedback. Others need permission to give you their feedback. If you seem uninterested it means they don’t have your permission to give feedback.
  5. Try to communicate without seeming to cast blame. Of course being honest will at times make it necessary to be blunt, but even then the approach does not have to be one of condemning or blaming.
  6. Display patience in your conversations. Do not rush the other person to express what they are feeling. You may come across as just wanting to respond rather than wanting to hear the truth.
  7. Display genuine curiosity about what your spouse says to you. Imagine what is being said to you is being said by you. This forces you to identify with some of what is being said at an emotional level.

Apply the above rules to your communication to see more desirable points of contact and desirable points of interaction in your relationship.


Communication is a wonderful tool to connect with others at different levels. Approached smartly and responsibly, communication can produce outcomes that become bridges to get over relationship difficulties. 

In a relationship, communication can result in desirable points of contact and points of interaction. But the reverse can easily apply. This means communication must not just be seen as desirable in a relationship, but must also be seen as a tool to be used very responsibly to produce desirable outcomes. 

If we focus on the outcomes we desire in our relationship, then we will be more wary of the importance of tailoring our communication so that those outcomes become almost automatic in our relationship. 

At the foundation of all of this is communicating openly and honestly in your relationship. Without openness and honesty, most communication not represent what we really want in our relationship, but something else. 

Communicating openly and honestly in your relationship can only create desirable points of contact between you and your partner and also desirable points of interaction. Everyone loves that.

Applying the above principles and approaches should go a far way in enabling us to not only communicate better, but to deliberately use communication to build deeper and more long lasting relationships. 

Peta Jane Kayes

MBA - Human Resources Management, Author, mother, wife, my passion is relationships and healthy living.

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