Communication is important in any relationships as it allows us to share interests, aspirations and concerns to support each other. It also helps to organize our lives and make decisions to work together in caring for our partner and children. Good communication is about the way we talk and listen and also about our body language. We can all learn how to improve the way we communicate.
No matter how well you know and love each other, you cannot read your partner’s or children’s mind. We need to communicate clearly to avoid misunderstandings that may cause hurt, anger or confusion.
- Think about what you want to say and what you are feeling when you say it
- Be clear about what you want to communicate
- Be clear about your message so that your partner hears it accurately and understands what you mean
- Share positive feelings with your partner or children, such as what you appreciate and admire about them and how important they are to you. When we communicate, we can say a lot without speaking. Our body posture, tone of voice and the expressions on our face all convey a message. If our feelings don’t fit with our words, it is often the non-verbal communication that gets ‘heard’ and believed. Notice whether your body language reflects what you are saying. Listening is a very important part of effective communication.
- A good listener can encourage their partner and children to talk openly and honestly.
- Keep comfortable eye contact.
- Lean towards your partner or children and make gestures to show interest and concern.
- Have a fairly relaxed posture with your arms and legs uncrossed.
- Face them – don’t sit or stand sideways.
- Sit or stand on the same level to avoid looking up to or down.
- Be aware that physical barriers, noise or interruptions will make good communication difficult.
- Show genuine attention and interest.
Open and clear communication can be learned. To improve the way you communicate, start by asking simple questions. When you are more aware of how you communicate, you will be able to have more control over what happens. While it may not be easy at first, opening up new areas of communication can lead to a more fulfilling relationship!!
By Shab Khan, Personal Development
Semiahmoo House Society, a non-profit organization located in Surrey/White Rock, exists to provide quality services and supports to people with disabilities and their families in the community.
The Semiahmoo Foundation, located in Surrey/White Rock, exists to fund, support and enhance the programs and services delivered by Semiahmoo House Society.