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Communication is ๐Ÿ”‘


Communication is key, except for being in close quarters with our partners, family members, and/or roommates for 6 months during a global pandemic, at times we may communicate in a less than optimal way. How can we keep the lines of communication open and productive when we may be feeling emotional, physically, and mentally drained? This can be challenging, but here are some important things to think about when having difficult conversations with those you live with. Effective communication is only effective when all parties involved are fully present and feel understood. We use our body language, listening skills, empathy, and reflection to allow the other party to feel heard.


Sometimes, when we are communicating ineffectively, we are using our emotional side of our brain as opposed to our logical side. When we are using the emotional side of our brain, we may tend to react in anger or frustration. Take a moment to breathe through these feelings. Ask yourself what is going on behind the feeling and look at the emotions from the logical brain. Stick with facts, although emotions are real and valid, they are sometimes, not based in fact. Take that moment to pause and breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth, as many times as you need, until you feel like you can approach the situation again. Breathing allows us to be present at the moment. Being present means bringing all our feelings, sensations, and thoughts, into awareness and allowing the moment to happen without judgment. This is sometimes easier said than done!


If we come up to our family members with crossed arms and eyes rolled to the back of our heads, this may give off the impression that we are still in defensive mode. Ensure that your mind and body language are open to the person in which you are communicating. Body language is a major part of effective listening skills. When we are listening, we should also hold eye contact, nod, mirror the other person's body language, and allow the other person to complete their thoughts without interrupting. Put yourself in the other person's shoes. Can you understand what they are feeling? Why may they be feeling this way? If you are unable to understand, ask the person, and reflect out loud what you heard. Using empathy and reflection allows you to better understand what the other party is going through internally and an important component of effective communication. We may misread because of our own personal biases and or feelings about the situation. Reflecting on what you hear can ensure that you understood that person correctly.


We are all human in this unique and challenging time in history. Forgive yourself and those around you. We are all doing the best we can with what we have. Remember to breathe, be open, listen, use empathy, and reflect when effectively communicating with loved ones.


Nicole Flanagan


Find out your communication style with the link below!


https://www.tryinteract.com/share/quiz/5f7f1715131d77001401eeca





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