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Breaking Down Barriers: Communication Tips to get our unmet needs met in a relationship

Emily Turinas

3 min read

May 7



Friendships are invaluable relationships that enrich our lives, but they require effort and effective communication to thrive. Sometimes we find ourselves in a place where relationships seem to come and then go out from under us. Or we are left feeling like our needs are unmet in the relationships we do have. Often placing value on clear and open communication can help us to change our dynamics with others and foster strong and lasting friendships. Here are some communication tips to help you break down barriers and build your friendships for the long term.

Unmet needs in a relationship

The Role of Communication in Friendships

Communication serves as the foundation of healthy friendships, allowing individuals to connect, express themselves, and navigate challenges together. Effective communication builds trust, fosters understanding, and strengthens the bonds between friends. By improving your communication skills, you can enhance the quality of your friendships and cultivate deeper connections with others.

Common Communication Challenges in Friendship Struggles

  • Misunderstandings: Miscommunications or misinterpretations can lead to struggles in friendships or hurt feelings.

  • Lack of Communication: Avoiding important conversations or failing to express needs can create tension or distance in friendships.

  • Unresolved Conflict: Failure to address conflicts or disagreements can strain relationships and erode trust over time.

  • Assumptions: Making assumptions about a friend's thoughts or intentions can lead to misunderstandings or resentment.

Communication Tips to get Unmet needs met in a Relationship

Active Listening

Practice active listening by giving your full attention to your friend when they're speaking. Avoid distractions and focus on understanding their perspective without interrupting. Show empathy and validation by paraphrasing their words and reflecting back what you've heard. Listening attentively strengthens trust and demonstrates your investment in the friendship.

Express Yourself Honestly

Be open and honest in your communication with friends. Share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences authentically, and encourage them to do the same. Use "I" statements to express your needs or concerns without blaming or criticizing. Honest communication fosters transparency and builds a foundation of trust and mutual respect.

Clarify and Validate

Seek clarification when needed to ensure mutual understanding in conversations. If you're unsure about something your friend said or did, ask clarifying questions rather than making assumptions. Validate their feelings and experiences by acknowledging their perspective and showing empathy. Clarifying and validating their thoughts and emotions strengthens connection and fosters empathy.

Address Conflict Constructively

Conflict is a natural part of any relationship, but it's how we handle it that matters. Approach conflicts with empathy, respect, and a willingness to understand each other's viewpoints. Practice active listening and strive to find common ground and solutions that honor both perspectives. Addressing conflict constructively strengthens the resilience of friendships and fosters growth and understanding.

Maintain Regular Communication

Stay connected with your friends through regular communication, whether it's through phone calls, text messages, or in-person visits. Make an effort to check in with each other regularly, share updates about your lives, and offer support and encouragement when needed. Consistent communication nurtures a sense of closeness and belonging in friendships.


Effective communication is essential for strengthening and maintaining friendships. By practicing active listening, expressing yourself honestly, clarifying and validating, addressing conflict constructively, and maintaining regular communication, you can break down barriers and cultivate meaningful connections with your friends. Remember, strong friendships are built on a foundation of trust, respect, and open communication, and by prioritizing these principles, you can nurture your friendships for years to come. If you are still having friendship struggles or finding your needs unmet in a relationship therapy might be beneficial. If you would like professional help in building these skills or better understand road blocks preventing you from engaging in relationships, see if Emily Turinas PhD is a good fit for you. She is a psychologist who specializes in helping individuals navigate relationships for those in Austin, Texas and Denver, Colorado. Schedule a free consultation today to see how Dr. Turinas could help you build clarity and direction in this next step of your life.

Emily Turinas

3 min read

May 7





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Emily Turinas PhD


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