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Communication Skills

Communication skills are very important in all aspects of your life

This section focuses on improving your communication skills. Many people find that their attempts to communicate with their loved ones do not always turn out as they would have liked. Listed below are problematic communication techniques. As you read over this list, see if you recognize any of these techniques in your communication style.

    1. Not asking for what you want in a direct and straightforward way.

    2. Instead of listening to the other person describe their feelings, you interrupt with quick solutions to try to solve their problem.

    3. You give up quickly and say something like: "Forget it! There is no point in trying."

    4. You will not admit that you had any part in this situation or that you have done nothing wrong. You are an innocent victim. Maybe you say: "I am right and you are wrong."

    5. Instead of discussing issues going on right now, you bring up the past issues and problems, and arguments that have nothing to do with what you are talking about right now. This distracts from the issue at hand.

    6. You act passively by either pouting, not speaking to the other person, or running away from the situation by storming out of the room or driving off.

    7. You use the words "always" or "never."

    8. You tell the other person that you do not feel angry, hurt, or sad when you actually do. Or you say you do not feel hurt, but you speak argumentatively.

    9. If the other person criticizes you, you criticize them back instead of dealing with the problem.

    10. You start to think to yourself: "I am an awful person, this is all my fault", instead of how to solve the problem.

    11. You imply or say that the other person has a problem and that you are the normal one.

Do you recognize any of the poor communication techniques in your own communication?

Have you ever had a fight with someone and said: "You always do that!" "You never listen to me!" "You are wrong, you do not know what you are talking about!"

If you notice you have been very angry or confrontational lately, see if you have been exhibiting any of these bad communication skills. It can help you express yourself better.

Effective Communication

Now that you can recognize bad communication, learning effective communication is the next step. Effective communication is something anyone can learn and being an effective communicator can help you in every aspect of your life. It can improve your relationship with your wife/husband or girlfriend/boyfriend, with your doctor/nurse, with your children, with your friends, and your co- workers.

One way to communicate better is to improve your listening skills. Try to concentrate on what the other person is saying and put yourself in their shoes. See if you can find even a little bit of truth in what the other person is saying. Try and do this even if you are totally convinced that the person is wrong. Also, if you can find just one positive thing to say to the person during an argument to show that you still care about them, this can go a long way toward dissolving the disagreement.

Another way to defuse a tense situation is to try and repeat what the other person is saying. Sometimes if you repeat after them or summarize what they have said, they feel somewhat appeased and assured that you are at least listening to them. Sometimes you can even ask them: "Tell me how you are feeling. That must have made you very upset. I understand."

Try and phrase sentences so that you are discussing how you feel as opposed to blaming the other person. For example, you could say "I feel sad or mad" rather than "You are wrong!" or "You always do this!" Try and show some respect to the other person during the argument.

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