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When everyone in your life communicates well, things generally run smoothly. However, sometimes it can be tough to maintain a good connection, even with those closest to you.
Communication is a two-way street, and you’ll see the most success when everyone involved makes an effort to communicate effectively. Even when others miss the boat, though, strengthening your own communication skills will go a long way toward beneficial interactions.
Keep these tips in mind as you strengthen your communication skills:
- Be flexible and open. Even if it’s not the most convenient time for you, strive to be there for your loved ones when they want to talk. It’s important for them to feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings with you.
- When it’s possible, prepare what you’re going to say. Sometimes communication issues happen just because you don’t say what you mean. This happens more often than you think! Thinking it through before you speak ensures that you send the message you intend.
- Even in the middle of a conversation, take a moment to plan what you’re going to say next before you say it.
- Be a good listener. Learning how to effectively listen is a full fifty percent of the battle. You can be great at speaking, but if you don’t understand others, the skill may be useless.
- You can strengthen your listening skills by just paying closer attention when others are speaking. Allow them to finish their thoughts before you speak again.
- Avoid jumping to conclusions. Jumping to conclusions leads to unnecessary complications. You might be assuming something that isn’t even true. It’s important to find out your loved ones’ true thoughts and feelings and clarify yours as well. Knowing the whole story can save people from getting hurt by incorrect assumptions, yourself included.
- Be understanding. Sometimes you’ll hold yourself and your loved ones to higher standards than you expect from others. Remember: no one is perfect, including you. If someone makes a mistake, explain to them that it’s okay.
- Avoid holding a grudge because it will only cloud your communication efforts with negativity and tension.
- Be willing to compromise. Strive for the wisdom to recognize the difference between what you need out of a situation and what you want. The best solutions allow everyone to walk away from the situation satisfied with the outcome.
- Practice your skills. Good communication is a skill that you can always strengthen. Relationships between people are ever changing and there’s always something new that you can learn.
- Be willing to continue learning how to better communicate with your loved ones. This exploration may enable your relationships to go that much deeper because you care enough to keep trying.
Remember that you should never be afraid to speak up when you’re talking with your loved ones. They’re not mind readers, and they deserve to know how you’re feeling! Conversely, it’s also important to be understanding and receptive to their feelings. Good communication can strengthen your bonds for a lifetime.
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