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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thursday Love: Communication...How Important? Part 2

Jewel of wisdom du jour: Words are the most power drug used by mankind...Use them wisely!

Last week we learned what characteristics constitute ineffective communication and what needs to be avoided. So let’s examine what characteristics we should be striving to implement into our relationships.

  1.  Effective communication is direct and to the point, leaving no doubt as to what is meant, nor any room for any misunderstanding. Honest thoughts and needs are stated.
  2. Effectively communicating means not being afraid to say what’s on your mind.
  3. Effective communication is not silent when there are issues that NEED to be addressed.
  4. Effective communication is TWO-WAY, made up of equal parts of talking and listening.
  5. Effective communication is responsive and respectful because attention is being paid to the needs and perspective of both parties involved.
Inculcating these characteristics into your relationship’s communication is easier said than done, however, love and respect for your partner should motivate you to start taking these characteristics to heart and use them to begin improving the quality of your communication.

Good communication habits are vital to the health and success of a relationship. It’s imperative to find out which ways of communicating work for you and your partner. Try to find new ways to express your feelings and share your goals and ideas. Share your personal successes with your partner, and they in turn will do the same with you; which will deepen and strengthen your relationship. Avoid harmful or abusive speech that insults, puts down, degrades, or embarrasses your partner. When these types of things are said toward or about one another, they kill self-esteem and are the beginning infection that will slowly kill a relationship. If arguments arise, as we all know they will, try replacing negative hurtful phrases with more positive terms. So instead of saying… “You just don’t get it”….say “allow me to explain”. Instead of saying “You have no clue what you’re talking about”…say “maybe I can clarify”. Your attempts to remain calm and communicate effectively should have a positive effect on your partner and likely will result in their attempt to communicate effectively as well.

Try this exercise called “The Sentence-Completion Method”. You and your partner take turns completing the following statements about communication. Finish each statement openly and honestly, speaking seriously from the heart.
  1.  In my opinion effective communication is...
  2. The hard part of communicating my feelings is...
  3. Sometimes I pull away from openly communicating because...
  4. When I try to express intimate feelings...
  5. I tend to close the door on communication when…
By truly completing those statements and allowing your partner to honestly complete them as well, you should have a little better understanding of your partner’s makeup. If you remember nothing else, remember this…communication is a gift and using it wisely will work out to everyone’s advantage, however, it’s only as effective as the partner’s involved work for it to be.

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