relationships

3 Communication Tips for Improving Any Relationship

Good communication is imperative for the long-term success of any relationship. But what makes for effective communication?

Consciousness is required for effective communication. The goal is being aware of the impact of your words by choosing them consciously, thoughtfully.

The following communication tips are effective and recommended for maintaining the health of every relationship, including your parents, children, siblings, significant other, roommates, bosses, friends, coworkers, and acquaintances.

  1. Be Impeccable With Your Word

This is a measure of your integrity; of being honest, forthcoming, trustworthy, reliable, and honorable. Are these qualities you want to be known for? Do you want to be the kind of person people can count on? Do you want your “word” to count for something?

We all know that things happen that interfere with our responsibilities, plans and schedule. For some people, this happens more often than not. Speak from the reality of your life, schedule, obligations/responsibilities and plans.

Be aware of your promises, explicit or implied. Don’t speak from your intentions, unless you state that explicitly.  For example, if you say “I’ll try to do that today” you’re speaking from your intention, as opposed to saying “I will do that today” which implies a promise.

Using phrases like I will tryI will do my best… and It is my intention…will eliminate hard and fast expectations and promises.

Promises create expectations which when broken lead to disappointment, resentment and mistrust. These things aren’t easy to get over, especially if they happen regularly.

  1. Ask For What You Need

We all have needs. Many times we need things from other people but don’t ask      because:

  • We are too afraid to ask due to fear of loss (of person, job, security, respect, love, appearing weak, etc.).
  • We don’t feel worthy enough to ask or worthy of receiving/getting our needs met.
  • We may not know what we need and how can we expect to get it if we don’t know what it is?

Most people need to feel loved, secure, supported, listened to, respected, and       appreciated, but not everyone is conscious of this.

Don’t assume the other person knows what you need. If you don’t ask, you’d better adjust your expectations because you will experience frustration with them when they don’t provide you with what you need.

Realizing you need help and asking for it isn’t a sign of weakness; it is a sign of       strength, courage, self-respect, and self-worth. Everyone deserves to get what they       need.

Don’t tell the other person what they’re not doing; instead, tell them “I need you to …” and if possible, tell them why. Generally, they will actually feel good being  able to  help. People like to feel needed!

  1. Leave Notes

Do you live with someone who doesn’t want to be spoken to the minute they get       home?  (My brother is like this, and so was my dad. if I understood this back then       I could have helped my mom!) Or do you work with someone who you can’t speak to before they have their morning coffee?

 

As you think of them, write down the things you need to tell or ask them. Leave it       in a highly visible and consistent place for them to see when they get home or get       into work.

 

Be specific; give directions and details if necessary. Make it easy for them to       not have to think. And be aware of their needs, schedule and responsibilities.       This provides positive outcomes for all parties involved.

 

  • It will take the burden off of you to remember what you need to say or ask them. It also will keep any “negative” feelings from lodging in your body by carrying it around all day. Write it down and let it go.

 

  • The other person can read it in their time; when they’re ready to receive, as they may assume it’s ‘bad’ or that they’re being asked to do something unpleasant, difficult, or time consuming. [To avoid creating this feeling of dread, intersperse thank you notes (and love notes, if applicable), at random intervals.]

 

Look for things the other person does without being asked: this is positive reinforcement. When I taught, I gave out pencils that said “I got caught being good.” I wouldn’t choose the word ‘good’ – it’s too general and subjective.  If I had influence over the manufacturers I would choose to be more specific with the words helpful, kind, considerate, or cooperative. I suggest you use these when you can’t be specific.

 

Positive reinforcement, especially if it’s unexpected, is a great method of behavior modification/conditioning. Being specific with positive reinforcement does what it implies; it reinforces and therefore, insures the positive behavior will be repeated!

 

  • The note should contain please, thank you and smiley faces, along with conscious phrasing as to not be attacking, blaming, accusing or demanding, as it might be if it bursts out of you the moment they walk through the door.

 

We teach our children manners and politeness markers but overall, once we grow up, many people seem to stop using them regularly. (Because it’s no longer required?)

 

Here is a note I recently left for my brother. “When you have time,             would you please move your TV and cooler back against the wall (in the garage), so I could put what I need access to on top and in front of it. Thanks. J”[It was done within two days!]

Notice, I gave him flexibility with his schedule, asked with a ‘please,’ expressed my needs, and thanked him in advance with a smiley face.

 

 

Communication is an essential part of any relationship. By being conscious of your language and timing, you can insure success in every relationship.

 

Michele Goldstein is a Spiritual-Interfaith Minister, life counselor, former teacher, writer, gratitude-junkie, and founder of Return Love.
Her mission is to share her unique message of healing, evolving perception, and the end of suffering derived from her own personal growth journey.

 

  • sa

    Good

    • Michele

      Thank you for reading may post.
      Peace,
      Michele

  • http://www.theconfidencelounge.com/ Aaron Morton

    I remember taking advice that has served me well where they advised to step into the shoes of the other person when communicating. By stepping into someone elses shoes I found I was able to see the world how they saw it which enabled aided my communication greatly.

    Aaron Morton

    • Michele

      That is great advice, Aaron. It depicts empathy and empathy is imperative for good relationships and effective communication. Thank you for sharing.
      Peace,
      Michele

  • http://www.danerickson.net/ Dan Erickson

    Great post. I practice the first two, but have never been much of a note-leaver.

    • Michele

      Thanks Dan. It is nice to know that you are our there being impeccable with your word and asking for what you need. I would guess that you have very successful relationships, but if you ever hit a rough patch, try leaving notes!
      Peace,
      Michele

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  • http://www.williams-forrest.com/ Jason Beck

    These are great tips – they may seem “obvious”, as you said they are taught to most children – and yet many people seem oblivious, instead.

    If I could’ve insured the success of past relationships, I think I’d be quite rich by now ;)

    Just teasing, but I think you meant to use “ensure.”

    • Michele

      Thanks, Jason. I’m grateful you liked my tips. Thanks for alerting me to the typo, but it does add a little humor to my post!
      Peace,
      Michele

  • http://nickbgoodall.com/ Nick

    ‘The road to hell is paved with good intentions’ – This comes to mind! Like Dan said, I’m one to do the first 2, but I don’t leave many notes – I often get them left for me though!

    Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be opened unto you. Have a wonderful day! :)

    • Michele

      Thank you, Nick. As with Dan, I am especially grateful to know there are people out there who are being impeccable with their word. I have had so much trouble and frustration because many people are not.
      Thank you for sharing all those very applicable quotes.
      May you have a blessed day too!
      Michele

  • http://www.acalltoaction.net/ Trevor Wilson

    Say what you mean, and mean what you say. Follow that rule and you can’t go wrong. Well ok, maybe you can go wrong if you’re an insensitive ass, but otherwise it’s a good rule to follow.

    Simple tried and true honesty will take you far in any relationship.

    Cheers!

    • Michele

      Cheers to you, Trevor. You are spot on. Unfortunately, I have come across too many people who don’t abide such a simple rule. When people are guided by past wounds and current pain, they often react badly as opposed to thoughtfully responding.
      Thank you for adding to this discussion.
      Peace,
      Michele

  • Rynessa Cutting

    I never thought about the note thing- I am such a direct person. My boyfriend on the other hand, never liked to confront anything; he would rather show how he felt than talk about it. Once you take the time to learn people it makes things easier. It’s easy to mistake another person’s communication preference to mean that they don’t care.

    • Michele

      Thank you, Rynessa. You make a very important point about understanding communication preference. I think that is why leaving notes can help. It could bridge the difference and still satisfy both persons needs.
      Peace,
      Michele

  • Mary Slagel@Shape Daily

    In my past relationships, I didn’t think too much about communication but when I met my current boyfriend, I knew I had a good one I needed to hold on to. Or else I had just matured enough to realize a relationship takes more than just being together. I like to think it was him that made me think this way but anyway, communication was the first thing I started to work on. He is not good at picking up hints–i’m not sure how many men actually are–but I learned to express my needs, concerns and wants rather than sitting back and hoping he got it. It seems to be working out infinitely better than my prior communication with friends and family.

    • Michele

      I am so grateful for you. Learning how to communicate effectively takes a level of undertanding of oneself and those we communicate with. It shows that you have a healthy level of self-worth to be willing to express your needs, concerns and wants. Best wishes to you!
      Michele

  • Matt Maresca

    I like how you included ask for what you may need. I think this is one of the toughest aspects of good communication. I know from the flipside many times I’ve asked someone if they needed anything when it seemed as if they did. I guess we tend to take that as rhetorical these days and don’t feel like someone genuinely wants to help us, even if they do. Usually, the best thing is the obvious. Just be authentic.

    • Michele

      Excellent points, Matt I wish it were easy for eveyone to be authentic but there is just too much fear and pain out there. Thanks for being a model for others to emulate.
      Peace,
      Michele

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  • saima liaqat

    Very easy to understand-able and applicable article in our daily life…! if we keep on sharpening our Communication skills ,we can gain benefits out of learning and practicing this skill in a long run ….not only it benefits us on our own emotional levels but also on societal levels in general too….!