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Let's Talk About: Developing Tools for Successful Communication

Has someone ever told you, “I can’t talk to you,” “you aren’t listening to me,” or “that’s not what I said at all?” These are key indicators that communication is off between you and the person you are trying to talk to. It is true that it is often hard to talk to others especially when emotions are high. Trying to express yourself can feel daunting, but never fear, help is here! Communicating does not have to be so difficult.

Here are a few tools that can help you communicate with your significant other, family, friends, or any other person.

Listen to hear and not to respond

Oftentimes when communicating, we tend to listen just enough to begin preparing our response. When we do this, we miss key information that could help us along our communication journey. This is even more true when there is a disagreement. Remember, we aren’t arguing a case to win, we are having a discussion to better understand and sympathize. When we listen to hear, we will actually “hear” what the other person is saying and this could possibly take the wind out of sails so to speak and allow for a better understanding of what is being said and what the issue is.

Speak from a place of love and care

If our goal of every conversation is to win, then we will likely never have authentic communication. Even when arguing with another, we should endeavor to build the relationship and not tear it down. If we desire a good relationship with the person we are speaking to, whether it be boss, employee, friend, family, lover, significant other, or child we should attempt to speak/ respond from a place of love and care. When I was younger I was told “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” As an adult I realize this was one of the biggest myths, untruths, and lies ever told to children. I can heal from a broken bone, and may forget about it after it completely heals, but being called a derogatory name, or ascribed some other negative trait, these words follow me through my entire life. It only takes one person to call me weak for me to evaluate every area of my life looking for flaws and weaknesses. Be careful how you respond and what you speak. It could be detrimental to your relationship.

Don’t respond from an emotions-only stance

Though many of our most meaningful conversations will be emotional, we have to decide that our responses won’t be solely emotional. We can be angry and not respond in anger. We can be hurt and not respond to hurt. There are several techniques to get your point across without causing damage to a relationship. Be selective in your response. If you need to take a break from the conversation before continuing, do so. This break could be the bond that secures your relationship versus the bomb that causes it to explode and be destroyed.

Good conversation in practice includes:

  • Listening to hear and not just to respond – Give the same respect in a conversation your desire from others

  • Speaking from a place of love and care – When we speak from a place of love and care, we take the sting out of our words

  • Not responding from an emotions-only stance – Emotions are often tricky and we have to work through them to get to the heart of an issue. Let us not be ruled by our emotions.

Let’s Talk About It

If you feel that you could communicate better, but aren’t sure where to begin, there are counselors at Mind Works Counseling Services in Lubbock that can help you. Communication can be difficult, but it can also be easy and rewarding, creating relationships rather than destroying them. At Mind Works Counseling Services, communication is what we do, and we are more than happy to help you.

Learn more about the Relationship Therapy services we offer to help with communication.

Contact us to schedule an appointment or to let us answer any questions you may have.

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