YourTango experts provide advice on improving communications within your relationships.
6. Know your hot-button issues. All coupes should be aware of difficult topics that exist in the relationship. This will allow you to be cautious when the topics arise.
7. Pick your battles. Ask yourself if anything productive can come out of the discussion. Is the discussion likely to change the situation that is causing problems or is there a different solution that would better serve you both?
—Donald Goodman, Counselor/Therapist
8. Put yourself in his or her shoes. In preparing for a difficult conversation, first try "walking a mile" in your partner's shoes. This will help you keep perspective and remember you're both on the same team.
9. Make it about you. Use "I" statements, rather than "you" to keep your partner listening rather than on the defensive. Saying "I believe, I feel, I want" is much more likely to keep their attention than saying "you should, You don't, You are." Keeping your tone of voice and attitude neutral-to-positive rather than demanding gives you the best shot of having your requests granted. Make sure to maintain eye contact and keep your body language open, too.
10. Remember to compromise. If you partner isn't able or willing to accommodate all of your requests, be happy to compromise. Recognize that even small steps are progress and you can continue to negotiate for what you want as time goes by. Also be willing to hear your partner's requests and do your best to fulfill them as well. How To Make Him Listen
—Melodie Tucker, Life Coach