Valentine’s Day was only a week ago. And we’re sure that there was some disappointment out there in regard to meeting expectations. Before you throw your significant other in the emotional doghouse, take a moment to reflect upon your communication. If you were expecting something big and romantic, did you tell your partner that that’s what you wanted? Instead of gifts, give your partner what they really want, better communication!

The Benefits of Better Communication

One. Avoiding Misunderstandings

How many arguments have you had with your partner that stemmed from a misunderstanding? When on occurs, how often is it a positive thing? How many times have you over analyzed a statement or their tone of voice and blew it out of proportion? When we jump to negative conclusions due to little pre-text, it can do harm to the relationship unintentionally.

When you open your lines of communication, disconnection isn’t as prevalent. This understanding can bring you closer together and really begin to hear what the other is saying without bias.

Two. Distinguishing What They Said from What You Heard

When communication is following, it is much easier to become vulnerable and ask the harder questions. Instead of walking around on eggshells, you can look at each other and discuss touchier subjects. Instead of wondering for hours or days about why your partner is upset, you can simply ask them.

When we communicate and understand, we can build a new kind of love. This kind of open and non-judgmental love is what can help bridge us together during an argument. Essentially, while you may have an argument, you can always feel safe laying out your emotions.

Three. Diffusing Arguments

As we said before, communication helps avoid unnecessary misunderstandings. It is also helpful in diffusing arguments once you and your partner arrive at one. Once you and your partner begin learning how to avoid arguments by replacing them with open communication, you will begin to learn when arguments are even necessary. Why engage in a fight that could lead to stubbornness and regret when you could discuss it together, so it actually gets resolved.

Four. It Allows You to Each Have Your Space

It is often noted that couples who can have pockets of individual time are the happiest. When you communicate openly and freely, you allow for more trust within this aspect of your relationship. This is especially beneficial for those relationships in which one partner needs a bit of space after a disagreement.

When communication becomes positive and productive, it can enlighten the times your communication isn’t that. When you know giving your partner space leads to a better outcome, it can become easier to give it. Especially when the end result leads to understanding and connection.

Five. Trust Increases in General

Trust doesn’t just increase in the sense of being able to give your partner space. Rather it increases in all aspects. When you reach for openness instead of resorting to stubbornness and aggression, you build trust with your partner in an entirely new way. It can feel life-changing when you can see that your partner is not trying to “get you” or criticize.

Creating judgment-free spaces is crucial to any relationship. When you simply listen, rather than responding negatively, you can release your partner from shame and embarrassment. When you can support your partner instead of making them feel bad about themselves, they know they can trust you to always be there.

How You Can Create Better Communication in Your Relationship

  • Build companionship through shared experiences and interests
  • Share intimacy through closeness and empathy
  • Find common goals and core values
  • Open communication lines by asking things such as:
    • What is our source of conflict?
    • Do we really listen to each other?
    • When do we feel the most connected?
    • When are we disappointed in the relationship?
    • Are we connected or disconnected the majority of the time?
    • What do we avoid talking about?
    • What would make our communication better?

Create Better Communication with CPA

Most of us find some experiences or topics difficult to talk about. It may be something that is painful or makes us feel uncomfortable. For example, some people find it difficult to express their emotions. It is often the things that cannot be talked about that hurt the most.

If you are having difficulty expressing yourself or talking with your partner about something, you might find it helps to talk to a counselor at CPA. Cristina Panaccione and Associates has one location in the South Hills and one office in Robinson Township. We are currently accepting a limited number of new patients, so check out our videos to learn more about how we can help you learn better communication skills.

* This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please contact a medical professional for advice.

Michael Breitenbach – LPC

I don’t like New Year’s Resolutions. If you want to change, don’t wait until the New Year, make the change today. If you chose to change, make sure you are doing it for yourself and not for anybody else. Therapy is more effective when there is an internal desire for change, but with change can bring the fear of the unknown and that’s where the support of an objective therapist can help alleviate the experience. The key to personal progress is the relationship that you have with your therapist. There is no one size fits all approach to therapy, so I have taken an eclectic approach to meet the many needs and demands of life.

My expertise falls within the addiction and dual diagnosis realm, but not limited to drugs and alcohol, as addiction can permeate into many other facets of life. In my current position, I provide clinical insight to hospitals and other inpatient programs for individuals with Behavioral Health as well as Physical Health issues ranging from Schizophrenia to Hepatitis C. I help providers and individuals identify barriers to treatment while utilizing their strengths for personal progress.     I may not have all the answers to your questions and problems, but I can certainly point you in the right direction, give you the resources to be successful, and work together to develop a plan for a healthier you!


When was the last time someone listened to you?  Really listened and provided active feedback.

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