Communication is a buzz word that’s often used but typically not understood. When it comes to relationships communication is more than listening and talking. In relationships with people we care about communication is a way to connect with another person. It can create intimacy and draw people closer together. This happens by exchanging inforamation (listening and speaking) in ways that both people can hear and understand.
Before we can have conversations with each other we must first set the stage. Make sure that you‘re ready to listen and ready to talk. Turn off your phones, TV, radio, etc. and be present with the other.
Next, listen without preparing a response. Just listen! This can be harder to do than you imagine but the benefits for your relationship are tremendous.
Finally, consider the best intentions of the other. Consider that they love you and do not want to hurt you. When we assume that the other person is acting with good intentions we tend to hear them as they want to be heard and not with putting our own interpretations on it. These steps are useful for all conversations but are crucial for the difficult and challenging ones.
Next week we’ll focus on how to speak so you are heard.
Learn more in-depth skills at our upcoming Healthy Relationships, Healthy YOU! workshop on Saturday March 28th 9:30am – 12:00pm. Early bird registration ($25) ends on March 1st. Register now. Space is limited. Let’s Learn. Change. Grow. together!