Through simple mistakes, and careless words, that communication can be twisted. To avoid these mistakes you have to simply slow down, breathe deep and follow the advice below.
Don't Tune Them Out As You Form Your Opinion
Conversations are not cycles of you talking and listening just enough to form a response. If you don't fully invest in the conversation at hand, you are disrespecting your partner and not reacting appropriately. What you have to say is only part of the conversation, and your partner's opinion is a crucial part of the problem and solution.
They Don't Deserve Judgments
Your partner deserves better than judgments, they deserve to be heard and understood. You shut down potential solutions when you judge. Not only is it not productive, but you wouldn't want to be judged, so keep it fair and give them the benefit of the doubt.
Actively And FULLY Listen
Actively listening is a skill that you have to build up and a beautiful gift you can give your partner. Clear your mind and put aside your formations. Listen to the words they say and explore their meaning. Ask probing questions to better understand them. Make lots of eye contact and don't interrupt.
Assumptions Never Help
Assumptions detract from the truth. the truth we fabricate is specifically designed to cater to our fears and desires, basically our egos. Only by exploring the truth of the situation and our partner's position can any genuine and productive solutions can occur. Don't waste your time and energy with assumptions, or the trouble they cause. You will have to deal with the assumption's effects plus the original problem.
Don't Shut Down Or Resort To The Silent Treatment
As the argument heats up, or you find yourself far beyond your comfort zone, acknowledge your feelings and relay them to your partner. It's is fair to ask for a break in the conversation or argument. Be sure to remind them you aren't avoiding the subject, and BE SURE to get back to them after you cool down.
You can always preface the conversation by honestly and non aggressively explaining where you are emotionally.