Can 5 Simple Steps Improve your Love Life? A Challenge!
Updated: Mar 10, 2020
At its very core, communication is one person sending information to one or multiple receivers. Despite the idea of it being simple, there is a lot more involved. The topic, the knowledge of the topic, whether both parties are open to the message, the emotional states of both parties, and the emotional history involved with this particular topic for both parties are all critical factors. Communication can become very complicated very quickly. Combinations of any of the above can produce miscommunication, leading to hurt feelings, anger, or resentment.
So, how do we improve our communication?
1. Slow down the message exchange. Since we have been communicating for a long time, we believe we are pretty good and tend to go quickly through verbal exchanges. Depending on the topic (especially if it is emotionally charged) this can create a lot of misunderstanding. By sending one message at a time, and then allowing the receiver to digest it (even summarize back if possible), we can clear up a lot of miscommunication. Trying this initially can seem juvenile as we are used to a quicker pace, but when the conversation is slowed, we will hear things that were previously missed.
2. Check your emotional status. Communication is not received well if the sender has strong emotions behind the message, particularly anger or frustration. Making sure we are in a calm emotional state prior to sending our message increases its likelihood of the receiver getting the message without using emotional defenses or dismissals.A calm approach will get the message across as it was intended and improve your chances of the receiver agreeing with your points.
3. Check your motivation for the message. What is the goal? Is it to have a nice neutral conversation about the weather, ask for something, convey deeper feelings, debate on topics you are passionate about? Making sure we know the goal of our message can help us avoid mis-communicating it.
4. Know that you are communicating only from your perspective. We all have unique experiences and perspectives. We are all influenced by our personal history. Something that sounds perfectly reasonable to us may not seem the same to another individual. You cannot successfully verbally coerce change. For most, applying pressure to change an opinion in others results in that individual feeling more resolute in their point of view.
5. Understand that all messages may not or cannot be heard. We can do everything “right” in the communication world, but if the receiver is neither ready or is incapable of hearing/understanding the information you may need to wait to discuss it another day...or adjust to the idea that you will never be able to successfully communicate that point effectively with that individual.
Our communication style is relatively ingrained in us...but we can evolve! Try incorporating these points in your relationship and see what happens!
by Amanda Messinger, LCPC, CADC
To schedule an appointment with Amanda or one of Restore's fine therapists, click here https://www.restorerockford.com/appointments