In my Houston marriage counseling center, one of my primary goals is to help couples become better at dialoguing with one another. Open and honest communication builds trust and intimacy, which strengthens any relationship.

However, being able to understand your partner’s nonverbal cues is also a valuable skill to develop when you’re looking for relationship help. For example, if you can easily sense when your partner is stressed or upset, you can start a dialogue with them to get to the source of the problem. If your partner is not someone who likes to talk about their feelings, detecting their emotional cues is a good way to start a conversation and get them to be more open with their feelings.

Houston Marriage Counseling Tips for Reading Nonverbal Cues

Many times, nonverbal cues are fairly evident. For example, if your partner walks into the room frowning, doesn’t make eye contact, and has poor posture, this should be an indication that something is wrong and that the two of you should dialogue.

However, sometimes nonverbal cues are slightly harder to pick up on. Sometimes a partner will say something like “I’m fine,” but their body language seems to indicate otherwise. What’s a partner to do to better understand what their lover really means?

One easy piece of relationship help I can offer is to suggest that you concentrate on making eye contact with your partner. A lot of emotion is conveyed through the eyes, and maintaining eye contact is a sign of trust and comfort with the person you are talking to. If you don’t understand what a partner’s eyes, body language, or facial expression are conveying, don’t just keep wondering—ask them to talk about how they’re feeling. This will help you better understand your partner’s emotional cues in the future and will give them the opportunity to share a part of themselves that they might have otherwise kept quiet.

It’s also important to spend as much in-person time with your partner as possible. This may seem obvious and not something that you need to come to Houston marriage counseling to learn, but because so much of the communication we as a society do these days is over the phone, through texting, or by email, we’re losing our ability to easily read other’s emotional cues. Face-to-face time with your partner during which you make an effort to pay attention to their emotional cues can strengthen your relationship.

If you want to learn more about how to use nonverbal communication to open up a dialogue, I highly encourage you to visit Houston marriage counseling.