Communication is undoubtedly the foundation of all relationships; without it, there is no hope for a successful and healthy future with someone. Pretty extreme, right? Well, whether this statement is referring to a romantic relationship or to one with a friend or parent, it is crucial to begin to exercise and practice this. So, what is communication? Communication is the way to avoid or fix problems, as it is the pathway to understanding someone’s perspective. I have seen a lack in communication in my generation. Maybe it’s because of social media, hiding behind a screen we feel more inclined to “tweet” out about feelings instead of talking them out.
One thing is for sure, however, I have noticed a trend. I’ve seen many people simply disregard the problem, keep their pride high, act unbothered, and move on. I am guilty of this, as well. Why is this an issue? It’s quite simple- when we speak our minds, we are able to address problems and work from there. If these issues are never brushed upon, they will not only stay, but will eventually develop into more serious complications. “Ok, so I just blurt out how I feel when something upsets me, right?”, wrong. There is a method to approaching communicating the “right way” in order for it to be successful.
- Step 1: Reflect. Try to understand why you feel a certain way. What upset you? How can this be avoided in the future? More importantly, put yourself in the other person’s shoes. How does the other person feel about the matter? Why are they acting a certain way? This tends to be the most difficult part, as most of the time people are blinded to their own mistakes so tend to blame everything on the other person. Put yourself in their position and try to see why there is a miscommunication in the first place. Remember that you can’t change a person, you can only help them understand how you feel and work from there.
- Step 2: Make a list. Two of my best friends have taught me to make lists before facing a confrontation. The reason being that once you start addressing how you feel, one tends to mention irrelevant past scenarios which only leads to more problems as one speaks with resent about things that can not be changed. The list should state: that you understand how the other person feels, how you feel, why you feel that way, and what you suggest the solution should be. Keep it short and simple.
- Step 3: The talk. Remember the purpose of this conversation- you are trying to find solutions. Speak with respect and give them the time they hopefully gave you to speak. The person will admire you for taking initiative in mentioning the elephant in the room.
I have yet to meet a mind reader. If you want something or feel a certain way, you have to let the other person know. Without communicating, nothing will get solved. If talking things out doesn’t work, at least you tried. In that case, take mental notes on how the person dealt with the confrontation, as it will help you in the future with that relationship and others. Staying quiet, however, is not the way to move forward with someone, as this is quite detrimental. If you really can not build up the courage to speak face-to-face, write a handwritten letter; those are always appreciated. Whatever you do, communicate.
If you have questions or comments follow us on Facebook (Link provided below) and share your thoughts.
By: Valentina Verano, Marketing Intern
Gail Wilson is a Therapist, Life Coach and Public Speaker in South Florida. Mrs. Wilson works with mothers dealing with postpartum and fathers who have difficulty with transitional changes after a new child. In addition Mrs. Wilson works with individuals, couples and families to find their inner strength and resolve interpersonal and relational conflicts. To schedule an appointment with Mrs. Wilson call (754) 999-0410 or contact by email at Gail@mgscounseling.com