How To Be A Better Communicator
How To Be A Better Communicator!
Because we care about our loved ones and the relationships we have with them, yes?
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my own experiences and others’, is that communication is paramount. Communication is one of the most important parts of any relationship. And on the same note, communication is one of the most difficult aspects of a relationship.
In my opinion, lack of communication or poor communication is the main cause of conflict in relationships. There is so much to learn about communication, but I’m here to tell you how to be a better communicator.
These tips can be used with any type of relationship, and I encourage you to use these with everyone. Your partner, family, friends, acquaintances, colleagues, and strangers. All these relationships will benefit from better communication.
Remain Calm at All Times During Communication
This is sort of a no-brainer, but it’s often very difficult. Remaining calm will allow everyone involved to communicate more clearly. Raising your voice will only start a competition of who can yell louder. Raising your voice may lead to hurtful words. Then, it becomes a competition of who can be the nastiest to the other.
Have you ever had a conversation get so out of control you said something you didn’t mean? I have, and I regret it. You can always apologize, but you can never take back what you say.
Remaining calm is the number one rule in communication.
No Calling Names
Piggy-backing off of what I just said, do not allow yourself get out of control and call someone a name.
It’s hurtful and distasteful. Just don’t do it.
When you call someone a bad name, it says something about your character, not theirs. You should always be able to contain your anger and frustration when communicating with someone. Calling names also influences the other to say something hurtful back.
This brings us to the next tip.
Don’t Place Blame
Placing blame doesn’t solve the issue, it redirects the attention from the issue to the person. When people are being blamed for something, they tend to take on the defensive. No one likes being told that they’re wrong. The person being blamed may not even believe they did anything wrong, and so the conflict ensues.
While taking one of my psych classes, I learned something really helpful.
Instead of placing blame, just communicate how you feel and how whatever they said effected you. Try it with me!
WRONG: You are so inconsiderate for being late all the time!
RIGHT: I feel anxious and frustrated when you’re late. It makes me feel like you don’t care about my obligations.
Dang that’s good! But can you see how much more helpful the second option was?
The wrong way to communicate how you feel is getting frustrated, raising your voice, and placing blame. People are much more likely to listen to you and do what you say, if you’re calm. Also, it tells them how it affects you. If the other person cares about you, they will listen.
Tell Them How You Feel
Now this may seem obvious, but people often either don’t say it or don’t know how to express it. I say this because whoever you’re communicating with cannot read your mind.
I repeat. No one can read your mind.
You can’t assume that your partner or whoever knows what you’re thinking. People are not always aware of how their actions affect the ones around them. It’s obvious to you! But not always obvious to them. So tell them how you feel, and why.
This makes life a lot more complicated.
Don’t Be Afraid to Tell Them What You Want
Similar to the previous piece, tell people what you want. When you tell people what you want, they have a clear understanding of what you expect. When you don’t communicate this, they may not know. Also, again, assuming that they know what you want isn’t helpful. Remember they can’t read your mind.
It’s good for you because you get what you want sooner. It’s helpful for them because they don’t have to guess what you want by trial and error.
Give Love to Receive Love
There are very few things in this world, that the only way to receive something, is to give it away.
It sounds like it should be the opposite right? But it’s not. The more love you give, the more love you receive. You feel the love by sharing it, and the universe gives it back to you in return. You create more love by giving it away.
So when you’re having a hard time communicating with someone, remember that you love them. So just love them. Just because you’re fighting or in a disagreement with someone, doesn’t mean you stop loving them.
When you miscommunicate and fight with someone, don’t withhold the love to make a point or keep your pride. Let your pride down, and just love them.
Listen to Understand, Don’t Listen to Reply
And last but not least, listen to understand, don’t listen to reply. This tip is my favorite. I feel that this tip cannot be achieved without some of the previous tips, so I placed it at the bottom.
If you take away one thing from this blog post, take this tip with you.
Listen to understand the person you’re talking to. Do not listen so that you can come back with something to say in return. When you listen to understand, you have a chance to understand that person. That’s the whole point of miscommunication right? To understand the other person? But when you’re trying to make a point, you are listening to make a comeback. You skip understanding them, because you’re busy thinking about what you’ll say back.
It’s really not complicated, but this happens all the time!
Think about it logically. You’re trying to come to an agreement. You’re disagreeing because you have differing opinions. The other person will not simply do as you say because you think it’s right. They think (whatever they’re thinking) because they think they’re right.
This is where listening to understand the other person comes in. You can only compromise when everyone’s opinion is on the table. If you don’t listen, you’re just blurting out your side of the story. No one likes people who don’t listen.
It’s a common mistake. I’ve done it too many times to count. I’m sure you have too.
What you can do about it, is pay attention to your thinking when you’re having an argument. Listen to the other person when they’re talking. Wait your turn, and reply. Reply with understanding….like…. “I understand what you mean, and I’m sorry I made you feel that way….This is what it was like for me…blah blah blah.”
If only every conversation was so easy, right?!
All I can ask of you is to try your best! So get out there and communicate like a pro!