Good communication is fundamental for any relationship, so when your boyfriend doesn’t understand your feelings, there’s a big problem. Find out how to get through to him and help him relate to how you feel to bring your relationship to the next level.

When you’re struggling with communication issues, here’s how to make him understand your feelings. These simple tips can improve the way you relate to each other, which can only mean good things for your relationship.

Find the Right Time to Talk

When you have something on your chest, you shouldn’t try what could be a long discussion at the wrong time. Don’t attempt to start discussing your feeling when he’s busy, stressed out or tired. You should both be in a good mood for the talk. If you don’t choose the right time, he might go into defensive mode, thinking that any discussion about your feelings will end with accusations.

Get Specific

One of the best answers to the question of how to make him understand your feelings is to use specific examples. Generic statements like “You don’t understand me” or “You never care about how I feel” can start an argument, but they won’t lead to progress in communication. Focus on specific situations where you felt misunderstood and explain them with a smile.

Discussing Your Feelings With Partner

Don’t Expect to Get Your Point Across With a Raised Voice

Feeling misunderstood can lead to a lot of frustration, so many times the subject of your feelings comes up when you’re already fed up and ready to fight. If you start the discussion with a raised voice, he’ll feel attacked and will be a lot less likely to actually listen to you and find the empathy you would appreciate.

Become a Good Listener Yourself

When you’re trying to make him understand your feelings, one of the best ways to get him to open up is to be a good listener yourself. If he sees that you’re genuinely making an effort to understand him and see things from his point of view, he’ll be more open to doing it himself.

More: The Unwritten Rules of Relationships

Avoid Angry Accusations

You’ll never get him to relate to your feelings if you take an aggressive approach. Accusations that he never listens to you will only do more harm and get him to shut down. Communication always improves in relationship when each partner focuses on the effects of the other’s actions. If you accuse him of being a bad listener and lacking empathy, that won’t get you far.

Show Appreciation when He Gets It

Positive reinforcement can be very helpful when you’re struggling with how to make him understand your feelings. When he shows empathy and steps up to the plate, it’s always important to acknowledge that and show him your appreciation. Without that reward, he’ll be less likely to make an effort, no matter how much you complain that you’re not being understood.

Be Supportive of His Feelings

Showing support when he opens up to you is also important when you expect him to do the same. Don’t dismiss his feelings and then expect him to act differently when it comes to your feelings. Even if he’s the strong silent type, he still needs support from time to time, and you should be there for him.

Good Communication With Your Partner

Stop Repeating Yourself

One big obstacle in improving communication is learning that you can’t expect to get results when you take the same approach every time. You can make him understand your feelings easier if you try different ways of talking about it. Sometimes, cooling off and letting him come to you to ask what’s wrong is the right way to make progress.

See also: How to Avoid Arguing with Your Partner

Avoid Comparisons with Other Couples

Even if other couples that are close to you have great communication skills, you shouldn’t use other relationships as a standard for your own. No relationship is perfect, and telling your guy that he’s not as good as someone else won’t help your cause at all.

Try Couples Counseling

When everything fails, a counselor might be the missing ingredient in your quest to make him understand your feelings. Asking for help is a lot better than letting your frustration build up. Convince him to try it and you might both learn something useful and improve your relationship.