Connect, Communicate, Thrive: Relationship Insights from Our Experts
5 mins read

Connect, Communicate, Thrive: Relationship Insights from Our Experts

Connecting with others and communicating effectively are essential skills for building solid and thriving relationships. Our panel of experts provides insightful tips and advice to help improve your romantic, familial, or platonic relationships. Read on for crucial learnings on better relating to others.

Listen Actively to Connect on a Deeper Level

Actively listening to your partner, child, friend – whomever you are relating to – makes them feel honestly heard and understood. Often, when someone is speaking, we’re busy formulating what we will say next rather than focusing on what they’re saying. Truly listening demonstrates care and concern. As our panellists explain:

Give Your Full Attention

When someone opens up to you, could you give them your undivided attention? Avoid distractions and make eye contact to help them feel heard. Taking a call or checking your phone gives the impression you have better things to do.

Ask Clarifying Questions

Asking questions shows you’re listening and ensures you fully comprehend what’s being conveyed. Queries like “What happened next?” or “What did that feel like?” prompt more details and depth. Clarification also demonstrates interest in understanding their whole perspective.

Paraphrase What You Heard

Paraphrasing what you heard proves you’ve actively listened and retained the essence of what was said. Summarising critical points in your own words provides assurance you’ve connected to their narrative. It also gives them a chance to clarify anything you might have misinterpreted.

Optimise Communication for Mutual Understanding

How information gets relayed can profoundly impact relationships. Mindful, compassionate communication fosters mutual understanding. Our experts recommend:

Lead with Empathy

Before expressing your viewpoint, reflect on the other person’s perspective and feelings. Comments like “It seems you felt terrified and alone” show empathy and validation of their experience. Establishing emotional rapport and safety makes them more receptive to hearing you.

Own Your Perspective

Use “I statements” when conveying your stance, focusing on your thoughts and emotions versus generalising or blaming. Phrases like “I felt concerned when…” centre the dialogue around your vantage point. This reduces defensiveness and helps find common ground.

Find the Kernel of Truth

Rather than rejecting something you disagree with outright, look for any truth you can validate. Connecting to even a tiny portion builds a bridge of understanding. You can then share your perspective while honouring theirs, facilitating meaningful exchange.

Cultivate Intimacy Through Shared Activities

Doing activities together forges neural connections that enhance closeness and rapport. Our counsellors reveal simple secrets for leveraging quality time to deepen bonds:

Share a Meal

Preparing and enjoying food combines intimacy-building elements – eye contact, laughter, and sensory enjoyment. We were cooking together or discussing lighter topics over dinner, which kindles emotional and intellectual chemistry—the comforting ritual of dining together primes further bonding.

Take a Class

Engaging in a class produces shared novelty and discovery, which forges affinity. Partaking in something new strengthens your bond over the learning curve and aha moments. Studying an esoteric topic or mastering new skills as a pair enhances mutual understanding and respect. Pushing one another to expand boundaries fosters admiration and support. 

You also get glimpses into how the other person processes information and overcomes challenges. Noticing workarounds and techniques gives insight into their intellect and determination. You may excel at retaining facts while they are better at systematically building understanding. Identifying complementary strengths helps leverage what each uniquely brings. The camaraderie emerges organically from facing the challenge cooperatively.

Play a Game

Gaming activates pleasure centres in the brain, producing oxytocin and endorphins, which magnify interpersonal attraction and connection. The friendly competition of games contains self-disclosure and encourages camaraderie—laughter, amusement and unpredictable fun all breed familiarity.

By integrating these tips on active listening, compassionate communication, and shared activity into your relationships, you’ll be amazed at how much more connected, supportive and fulfilling they become. Our personalised ready to assist you in being your best self in all your relationships.


Building thriving, meaningful relationships requires effort and intention. By genuinely listening with care and attention when others speak, optimising how we relay information in a spirit of mutual optimising, and deliberately spending enjoyable time together, we prime our brains for trust, rapport and intimacy with friends, partners, and relatives. Put these insights from our experts into consistent practice at home, at work, and socially to transform the quality of your connections. When prioritising compassionate communication and shared activities, there are possibilities for support and fulfilment in even our longest-standing relationships. For more information, book now


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