How can we understand each other?


Understanding relationships is tough! Two people together, emotionally connected, and trying lớn navigate adulthood side by side is complicated. It gets even harder if there is a lack of understanding between those two people.

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The idea of understanding each other in a relationship seems simple enough on the surface, but it can be challenging lớn execute well. I hear clients often lament that they don’t feel understood or struggle lớn understand their partner.

So, how vày we cultivate a relationship of understanding between two individuals? How can we best understand another person? What does being understanding in a relationship truly look like?

Read on to learn how lớn be more understanding in a relationship and how khổng lồ get someone khổng lồ understand you, too.

What does it mean to be understanding?

The idea of achieving understanding relationships is common but also confused. Having understanding relationships doesn’t mean you agree, like, or have to go along with what someone else is saying or feeling. You don’t have to lớn “get it” or “feel it” to lớn accept & understand.

In understanding relationships, you can empathize with the other person, make space for them lớn think and feel the way that they do, and respect that what they’re experiencing is about them & not about you.

Why is understanding important in a relationship?

You might be asking yourself, “why is it important lớn understand each other” in the first place? If we care about one another, enjoy each other’s company, & have a great time, why bởi we need to lớn work so hard lớn build understanding relationships, too?

The importance of understanding in relationships goes far beyond the surface and is the key to unlocking a lot of other important parts of a great relationship.

Two reasons why understanding is important in a relationship are connection & trust.

When a partner feels lượt thích we are showing up with both love và understanding, they feel truly seen and heard. These are two of the most common things I hear my clients giới thiệu that they want khổng lồ feel intimate and connected with their significant other.

How to lớn improve relationship understanding


1. Ask for what you want

If you’re feeling misunderstood in your relationship, it’s your job to lớn get what you want. A great place khổng lồ start is telling your partner, “What I need from you is understanding.”

But don’t stop there.

Explain what you mean by “understanding” and what you believe it looks lượt thích to behave in an understanding way can help your partner give you what you want.

Your partner might have a different idea of what it means & looks lượt thích to be understanding, so by sharing what you’re looking for, you can help ensure you get what you want, and your partner doesn’t have khổng lồ guess. Win, win!

2. Listen with curiosity instead of judgment và don’t make it about you

When we disagree or feel attacked, we tend to lớn get defensive và judgmental of what our partner is sharing with us. This can move us towards a fight, misunderstanding our partner, & ultimately challenges our relationship và intimate connection.

This highlights why understanding is important in a relationship!

If we have understanding relationships, we don’t jump to conclusions as often, & we can get curious about what our partner is sharing instead of defensive.

Try listening khổng lồ your partner lượt thích they’re telling you a story about someone else (even if it’s about you.) Get curious about how they’re feeling here, why they think the way they do, và what impact this has on them. Try to refocus your attention on them & their story instead of how you might be feeling about what they’re saying.

Ask powerful, curious questions to lớn encourage your partner to giới thiệu more about what they’re thinking, feeling, và experiencing so you can deepen your understanding of them.

Resist your urge khổng lồ react or fight back. You can’t listen for understanding if you’re thinking about what you’re going lớn say next!

3. Practice empathy

Empathy is such an integral skill and is key for understanding in a relationship.

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Empathy allows us to take perspective on what someone is saying, imagine how or why they might be feeling that way without having khổng lồ feel the emotion ourselves.

For example, if your partner is sharing they felt judged by something you said, but you didn’t intend khổng lồ judge them, empathy can help you understand where they’re coming from even if you disagree. (You don’t have to lớn agree to lớn practice empathy.)

Try to lớn take perspective và empathize with the idea of feeling judged. It doesn’t feel good lớn feel judged, does it? Especially by a partner.

By relating khổng lồ their experience instead of why they’re experiencing it, you can better understand and support your partner.

4. Learn to listen beyond the words that are being said

The words we say are only a portion of our overall communication. Often in communication, we get so lost in the words that we forget khổng lồ also pay attention lớn the person saying those words.

Communication goes beyond the sentences your partner is speaking aloud.

Try to lớn pay attention to all of your partner’s different aspects while they are sharing with you.

What is their tone of voice like? Are they speaking fast or slow? How are they holding themselves? Looking directly at you or the floor? Are they fidgety, breathing quickly, or stammering?

These cues can help you better understand the person’s experience beyond the words they’re using.

Words only get us so far in understanding relationships.

The clip below discusses the practice art of reflective listening. For successful và understanding relationships, this helps in quick fixes & works as a great communication tool.


4. Try khổng lồ understand before trying to lớn be understood

When we communicate with a partner, we’re often trying to lớn highlight our points, ensure we are heard & understood.

Each individual’s job indeed is to lớn stand up for themselves and share their thoughts và feelings. Understanding in a relationship is a two-way street, and both partners must be heard. Neither one of you can listen to lớn if you’re too busy talking and focusing on yourself.

If you’re trying to lớn improve understanding in your relationship, see if you can put your partner first và gain understanding before you offer your side.

By making space for each partner lớn be thoroughly understood, you lay the foundation for deeper connection và trust.

If you still feel disconnected or frustrated about your relationship understanding or with your partner, you might consider enrolling in an online course like this or consulting a therapist or relationship coach.