When it comes to nurturing healthy relationships, be it familial, romantic, friendships, or professional connections, effective communication is the key. Misunderstandings, unexpressed feelings, and ambiguous intentions can cause stress, damage relationships, and hinder their growth. To unlock these connections and keep them strong, here are ten communication strategies.

1. **Open and Honest Communication:** Be clear about your thoughts, feelings, and desires. Honesty helps to build trust and understanding. However, ensure your honesty doesn’t hurt the other person’s feelings or self-esteem.

2. **Listen Actively:** Active listening is more than just hearing; it’s about understanding the deeper messages and feelings. Ask clarifying questions, give verbal affirmations, and use body language to express your engagement.

3. **Use ‘I’ Statements:** Instead of saying, ‘you make me feel…’ try rephrasing as ‘I feel…when.’ This reduces defensiveness and opens channels for more empathetic communication.

4. **Display Empathy:** Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. Validate their feelings, show genuine interest, console them when they’re upset, and celebrate their achievements.

5. **Encourage Feedback:** Welcome constructive criticism and respond with openness and gratitude. It is a great way to learn, understand, and evolve in your relationships. Make your partner feel comfortable providing feedback as well.

6. **Be Patient:** Good communication takes time and effort. Especially when dealing with sensitive issues, it’s essential to stay patient, composed, and persistent.

7. **Handle Conflict Effectively:** Disagreements are natural in any relationship. Try to keep emotions in check and focus on resolving the issue rather than winning the argument. Use conflicts as an opportunity for growth.

8. **Express Appreciation:** Often, we forget to acknowledge the good in our relationships, focusing on problems instead. Regularly express gratitude and appreciate for the other person – it enhances positive communication and strengthens bonds.

9. **Learn Non-Verbal Communication**: Non-verbal cues like eye contact, facial expressions, and body language are as important as spoken words. They provide feedback and express emotions where words fail.

10. **Have Regular Check-ins:** Just like any other skills, communication needs practice. Regularly discuss your relationship, ask how the other person is feeling and if there are any issues they wish to talk about.

Remember, communication in relationships is a two-way street. While you make an effort to understand and respond empathetically to your partner, expect the same in return. These strategies require intention, practice, and patience, but the end result—more meaningful, healthier relationships—is undoubtedly worth it.

By putting these ten strategies into practice, you will unlock new dimensions in your relationships, fostering a deeper connection with those around you. This, in essence, is the secret to sustaining healthy and fulfilling relationships.