Effective Communications and Relationships
Effective Communication and Relationships
As humans, we are hardwired to live in relationships with others. Researchers have found that people who have positive relationships are healthier physically and mentally and feel satisfied with their lives overall. How we communicate is the foundation of building these important connections, whether it is to express our emotions, identify our needs, achieve our goals, or find meaning and purpose in life.
Here are six beneficial attributes of good communicators:
- Authenticity: Being yourself, honest and genuine in your attempts to understand and converse with another.
- Open-mindedness: Many times we walk into a conversation with the idea of passing on our ideas, or with assumptions about the other. Effective communication however requires curiosity, openness and a willingness to listen.
- Empathy: To “feel with” someone. It is not sympathy for a person or taking on the other person’s pain, or even agreeing with it. It is simply recognizing universal human suffering, validating the person, and being there for the person as they explore ways to relieve it.
- Clarity: Find ways to make the information you are presenting as clear and understandable as possible. This means meeting the person where they are at, using language they understand, and delivering it in a way that meets their needs.
- Attentiveness: Being present, actively listening, and not letting your mind wander or be distracted.
- Assertiveness: The ability to consider both our own and the other’s perspective. It involves both effective listening and the ability to express our truth clearly and confidently.
Improving our communication can help improve our relationships. But relationships can be hard and can be the source of much discomfort and unhappiness. It is important to seek positive people to spend our time with and to be able to develop meaningful connections that enhance our lives. Being able to recognize if a relationship is healthy or unhealthy and having the strategies to either strengthen the relationship or walk away is vital.
What a healthy relationship looks like:
- You feel safe, heard, respected, and valued by the other person in the relationship
- Both people view each other and treat each other as equals
- The give is equal on both sides of the relationship
- Time is spent voluntarily because the two individuals like or love each other and feel satisfied when they are together
- There is trust and open communication
- Boundaries are clear
- The individuals feel supported by one another
- Individuality and other relationships are maintained
- There is compassion, kindness, and forgiveness