Did you know that the most important element of a successful relationship is how effective you are as a communicator? Good communication builds trust, brings you closer and enhances intimacy with your significant other. But also realize the opposite is true. Poor communication can destroy the foundation that holds a relationship together.
One partner is usually the one to initiate open communication so that the other person is encouraged to talk. This takes patience, but the outcome is usually very positive. The following are some things you can do to open the door to effective communication with those most important people in your life:
1. Be empathetic, which means you understand how the other person feels and can respond appropriately.
2. Pay attention to what is being said by restating what you hear for clarity purposes.
3. Choose to complain constructively so the other person is not on the defensive, but rather hears the criticism with an open heart.
4. Learn to understand non-verbal cues to tap into feelings that are not expressed.
5. Try to attack the problem, not the person. The person is still lovable and good, but it is the behavior you may not be happy about.
6. Give yourself a time out if you are unable to remain fair and logical during a conflict. Always state a time and place to continue discussing the issue at hand.
7. Keep your sense of humor. Many times situations are so absurd that you can laugh about it, easing the tension and even anger.
Communication is a two way process that involves listening and receiving information. Everyone deserves to be heard and not discounted for how they think and feel. Understand that the opinions, attitudes and judgments of one person may be different than yours, but it does not mean it is wrong. To develop mutual understanding and respect, your insight and objectivity about how you communicate can go a long way to creating harmony.