You’ve heard the phrase dozens of times, communication is key. But what does it really mean? How do you even go about implementing this into your daily life? Maybe you’re non-confrontational, bad at communication, or are just confused on how to even start communicating healthily in your relationships. Here is a guide on communication:
Communication starts internally. If someone says something that rubs you the wrong way, reflect on why and really dig deep.
- Ask yourself questions like: “Why is this affecting me?,” “Is the person’s intent to hurt me? Or can this be fixed?”
- Reflect on your past experiences and the people surrounding you (basically anything that may influence why you feel the way you feel).
- Before communicating, you must understand your feelings before even vocalizing them.
Once you have finally figured out your feelings, draft your response.
- Once your feelings have been understood, they can be communicated, but again, communication is a lot more thinking than it is talking, so think about your response thoroughly before even opening your mouth.
- You can write it down, practice it, or simply think about it again
After you get their response, before reacting, analyze the situation and their feelings. This is similar to the first step, but now it’s directed towards the person you are talking to.
- Reflect on the other person, your relationship, and what you know about them to make a decision.
- It can be hard to detach emotion from yourself when in a tough situation, but it is truly one of the best things you can do to really understand what they’re saying and why.
4. Bounce Back
Communication goes back and forth—it’s a call and response, so after reflecting on their response, draft another message.
- Work off what they say and always acknowledge their feelings. Make sure that your feelings are heard as well before proposing a solution until agreement is reached.
- It may not work to reach a solution the first time and it will take compromise, but after some push and pull, the end goal should be to reach a solution.
- If no solution is reached, try reaching a civil agreement and fall back when necessary.
5. Set Boundaries
- Take preventative measures to prevent the same disagreement from happening again.
- Draw your boundaries and let them know what is okay and what isn’t, otherwise the cycle can continue. Part of the solution should deal with ensuring that history doesn’t repeat itself.
Communication can seem easy, but there are a lot of caveats that can make it complicated. This guide can give you a framework or starting point of how to start. Remember that communication is all about being heard, but also about hearing others. If you can do both of these things, you will be sure to have more productive conversations!
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