What is communication?
It is the ability to transform our thoughts and emotions into words and convey them in a manner that is understood and heard by other people. However, interacting with people in day to day life sometimes can be difficult and it is more challenging when a person is going through hard times in life but has to communicate in a way that does not bring conflict.
Most relationship conflicts arise from lack of effective communication skills. Sometimes we think that we stated our point clearly and that it should produce some positive results but that is not always the case. As result we end up feeling frustrated, hurt, and misunderstood. Therefore, it is important to learn the art of communication to increase interpersonal effectiveness in our daily lives. Communication can be consisted of message, delivery, and feedback.
The information we have in our minds are often loaded with our current mood and emotional state. Sometimes we have a positive message but because we filter the information through our tone of voice and our body language that the message can be lost. When we review the original message, we usually cannot find any problem. It is self-awareness or the ability to notice what we are feeling in the moment the key to better communication outcomes. Our thoughts can be tampered by our own mood and the receiver’s current emotional state; nevertheless, it is important to be mindful of our emotions, body language, and words choices.
Technology both has enhanced and compromised our communication capabilities. On one hand, we have better access to fast means of communication such as text messages and emails and on the other we often misinterpret and misunderstand the sender and the receiver’s intentions. Our devices cannot add our tone of voice and emotions in the message and we have to rely on smileys to convey our good intentions. However, technology also allows us to edit and think before sending an information but in real life we have less chances. In-person communication can be abrupt, interrupting, rude, too long, too short, offensive, too sweet, too chirpy, and etc. which also can affect flow and authenticity of the message. To minimize such concerns, practicing mindfulness skills to a point where we are able to tolerate imperfections and minor mistakes can help.
The result of our message is often the other person’s response. Although the listener might not be free of their own biases, for the most part we as social beings can read someone’s ill or well intentions. Often an effective communication produces responses such as curiosity, questions, and interest which are social cues showing the message is received but a hurried posture, defensive body language, and dismissive tone might indicate otherwise. To increase positive feedback a self-aware person can invite the listener for questions and meanwhile engage them in process of communication such as asking them questions as well.
If you and your partner are struggling with communication skill, book your appointment with your therapist now.
Khobi Attai, MA, specializes the areas of abuse and domestic violence, as well as a variety of other subjects. For more information on Khobi and her work, click here to link to her full bio page. Living Well Counselling ltd.