Here are 5 tips on how to communicate more effectively with your loved ones and 3 things NOT to do!
THINGS TO TRY:
START WITH CONSENT
“I need to talk about _____, when would be a good time for us to do that?” By saying it this way, you’re expressing your needs while allowing your partner to take mental prep time.
“I FEEL…” STATEMENTS
When you showed up late to our date, I felt _______.”
Try to express your emotions without accusing. This gentle approach allows for discussion with less defensiveness.
LISTEN TO HEAR
When in conflict, we tend to listen with the intent of making a counter point. Instead, try listening with the purpose of understanding where the other person is coming from.
REPEAT. THEN SPEAK.
It can be hard to engage when we feel accused or misrepresented, so before explaining your perspective, try to acknowledge a truth in what the other person is saying.
TAKE A BREATHER!
If you find that you are flushing, clenching your jaw or fists, or your heart rate is increasing, let your partner know that you need a break. During that break, engage in a self-soothing tactic (breathing techniques, going for a walk, etc.). After 20 minutes, assess how you’re feeling. Still heated? Communicate to your partner that you need more time and schedule a time to try approaching the discussion again.
THINGS TO AVOID:
THE SILENT TREATMENT
Instead, communicate that it is hard for you to talk about and specify how much time you would like to take before re-visiting the conversation.
RAISING YOUR VOICE
Maintaining an inside voice can be hard, but its key to de-escalating an argument.
By calling someone a name, you are attributing a problem to the person. It automatically puts the other person on the defense, and we cannot absorb or process information when in a defensive state.
At Holistic CFT, we understand that this can be easier said than done, and we’re here to help. We can work with you and your loved one in session to improve communication.