Communication Tips That Can Help Relationships

Illuminationcc/ January 27, 2020/ Health and Wellness

Too often when I work with clients, the top complaint they have about relationships (with coworkers, friends, family members, or significant others) is that there is either poor or scarce communication being exchanged.  As human beings, we are social creatures and most of us desire interactions with others.  Issues arise when we use poor communication in our relations with others. 

Effective communication is a skill, and as such it must be learned like any other skill.  Unfortunately, when we were growing up many of us were not taught how to communicate effectively.  With that in mind, here are some tips for communicating effectively with others:

  1. Listen actively. Repeat what you heard back to the listener to confirm you understood what they said and to clear up any miscommunication

  2. Maintain frequent eye contact. Use a friendly tone, keep your arms relaxed, and pay attention to the other person’s body language.

  3. Be open-minded and respectful to what the speaker is saying. You do not have to agree with what the speaker is saying, but show that you are willing to listen patiently, while trying to see their point-of-view.

  4. Provide constructive feedback. Do this by offering constructive criticism and suggestions for alternate solutions.

  5. Don’t verbally attack the other person. This makes them defensive. For example, instead of saying “You never talk to me”, you could say something like “I feel like we should talk more.”

  6. Find the right time to talk. If one or both people are upset, it likely is not a good time to talk about the issue. Wait until you both are calm and not agitated about the issue, maybe an hour or even a day later.

  7. Be able to accept and admit when you are wrong. It takes at least two people for an argument. Taking responsibility for your role in a conflict shows the other person that you are being mature and level-headed, which leads to…

  8. Apologize. Be willing to apologize to the other person for any part you played in the conflict. This often makes the other person feel more willing to work it out.

  9. Try to compromise. Instead of “trying to win” the argument, look for solutions that work best for everyone involved.

Practice these tips consistently and you will likely begin to experience more positive communication with others in your day-to-day interactions.

Written by Darrin Goodwin
Associate Professional Counselor

To learn more about Darrin, click here

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