Do you have trouble communicating with the people closest to you? Are you afraid of being misunderstood? You are not alone. Communication is the most important aspect of our relationships. It helps build a solid, healthy foundation. Without this foundation, it becomes impossible to foster a deeper connection with your loved ones. Additionally, without effective communication, your relationships will lack trust, respect, and teamwork, creating frustrations and misunderstandings.
In relationships, when we don’t speak to each other, we are disconnecting and hiding within ourselves. In order to maintain your relationship, you must speak your personal truth, even if it makes you feel raw and vulnerable. Create more openness and freedom in the relationship by talking openly with one another and providing a safe space where both of you can express yourselves in an unguarded way. Shared vulnerability builds trust, letting your partner or friends know that they can speak their mind and express their feelings without worrying about being misunderstood or judged.
Allowing open communication to flow provides security for you and your loved ones. Without an open flow of communication, you will feel like your emotional needs aren’t being met, and problems like insecurity and lack of trust will begin to brew. In order to boost your communication, you must first become a better listener.
Becoming an engaged listener means that you understand both the words and the emotional nuance. When you really, truly listen, you will be able to hear those slight changes in tone that will tell you how they are feeling beyond the words they speak. Focus fully on the speaker, set aside any judgement, show interest in what is being said, and provide feedback by paraphrasing what they told you back to them . You might say something like “What I’m hearing is…” or “It sounds you are saying…” This will make them feel heard and sincerely understood. Being an attentive listener means that you show your partner that you hear them, you are fully understanding them, and you are connecting with them.
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Alli is our office manager and writer who is passionate about connecting people through words. Alli studied English at Arizona State University, just recently moved to St. Pete and is enjoying paradise. Her interests include painting, nature, and learning about other people.