Developing Effective Communication Skills
The key to successful human interactions is knowing how to communicate effectively. Having this makes it easier to function in social settings like school, work, family gatherings, etc. Communication problems cause us to misunderstand or misinterpret others. Whether it be with a colleague at work or within marriages, these types of issues lead to arguments and tension that could easily be prevented if individuals learned to handle these conflicts as they arise.
Types of Communication Issues
There are many types of communication issues that create a challenging environment between two or more parties. Disagreements can be amongst friends, coworkers, peers, and more importantly spouses. A happy marriage consists of many factors, but good communication is key. When problems arise, if the conflict gets out of the couple’s hands, seeking counsel for marriage relationships usually helps to solve communication barriers between both parties.
There are many reasons individuals suffer from communication issues such as a childhood event, experienced trauma, or it may be a matter of linguistic differences. Other elements that contribute to these problems include poor listening skills, inflammatory behaviors, failure to understand others point of view, or physical and mental health issues. Understanding types of communication issues are the first step to enhancing relationships.
Effective Communication Skills Within Relationships
Strong communication skills are essential to successful relationships especially when it comes down to building a happy, healthy marriage. Establishing healthy boundaries in marriage with your partner is not a complex process. It is all a matter of learning how to handle communication issues as they arise.
While it may seem easier to ignore a problem as opposed to addressing it, this can lead to a bigger issue. When couples explore the underlying causes of their communication problems, they are able to understand each other better and communicate more effectively. A recent study showed that healthy couples have a 5:1 ratio of compliments compared to negative comments.
A few skills that have proven to be of help in relationships include:
- Listening – Let’s face it; many of us are poor listeners. We can fix this by allowing the other person to speak until they have fully stated their feelings and thoughts. Once they are finished, we can respond in an appropriate manner.
- Be relaxed – When talking about a difficult topic with your partner, you want to be relaxed and calm before attempting to come to a resolution. Clear your head and devote 100% of your attention to the other person thoughts, emotions, and feelings.
“I” Statements – This is by far one of the most useful tools to incorporate into conversations. No one wants to feel blamed for issues that arise, which is why using “I” statements prevents the other person from thinking you are pointing fingers and instead helps them analyze the situation and discover ways they can also improve.
There are four communication styles that we should familiarize ourselves with to fully comprehend where someone is coming from. Knowing the different styles of communication will allow us to develop deeper relationships with one another and work better together.
- Assertive – The first communication style we want to cover is assertive. A person who falls into this style is very likely to be clear and direct about their thoughts and feelings. They value honesty and strongly believe that everyone is entitled to their opinion. Assertive people are not afraid to prove their point.
- Aggressive – This type of communication style may share similar characteristics as assertiveness, however, it is often expressed in an inappropriate way that violates the rights of others. It can burn bridges, and many times, this style loses effectiveness.
- Passive – A person who exemplifies a passive attitude when communicating generally does not express how they truly feel. These people have trouble expressing their opinions on a topic or their desires. This leads to others perhaps taking advantage of situations, leaving them feeling as if everyone walks over them or decides for them.
- Passive-Aggressive – The final style is a mixture of passive and aggressive. This style can be a bit confusing or unclear to follow. It is all a matter of setting boundaries that work for you and allow you to work in a functional manner with those around you.
Seeking therapy is a great way to improve communication. Therapists are highly trained individuals who hold a thorough understanding of developing healthy relationships through effective communicating.
You may be asking yourself, “Where can I find a communication therapist near me?” At Richmond Therapy, I take pride in the assistance and guidance that I give my clients to help them live healthier and happier lifestyles. I look forward to meeting you and to begin working on communication issues you may be facing with your spouse, co-worker, or relative.