One key part of a relationship is communication, but that’s not always easy. There are certain subjects that are just hard to talk about and raise your anxiety just to think about discussing like money or sex. But conversations like that don’t need to be stressful, and this article gives you seven conversation habits to STOP doing to make difficult discussions just a little bit easier. Treating the conversation like it’s combat. ● You’re communicating with your partner, not battling super villains so there’s no need to go into the conversation with a combative mentality. Don’t focus on trying to win points or cut down your opponent, they’re your partner not your enemy. Blaming your spouse. ● Taking responsibility is hard, especially when you don’t feel like you’ve done something wrong, but it’s not fair to assume your partner is at fault either. Blaming your partner isn’t playing fair, so learn to listen with an open mind and an open heart. Name calling. ● Neither you or your partner is a child (or you really shouldn’t be!) so resorting to name calling is petty and just mean. Have respect for your partner and for the conversation. Nasty tone. ● There’s an important lesson I learned from a professor at college: Own your tone. How you say something is often a lot more important that what you say, and it’s easy to convey the wrong message by using the wrong tone. Poor timing. ● It doesn’t matter if whatever the subject is is about to leap out of your mouth, picking the right time to talk about it will mean the difference between a shouting match and a productive conversation. It’s okay to plan a time to have the conversation when you’re able to participate. Fighting in front of others. ● It doesn’t matter how innocuous the subject matter is, if it causes tension between you and your partner, that’s where it should stay. Negative body language. ● What you’re feeling inside is going to show in your facial expression and posture, so it’s important to be aware of this while you’re talking. Try to be on the same level with your partner, and keep your body and expression open.