Tips for Communicating Better

You will find that the efforts you make to communicate better really pay off in your own life. Communicating with respect and compassion tends to spread, influencing how others communicate with you for the better.

Tips for Communicating Better

Communication is a learned skill: improve with practice and by                      understanding your own psychology.

It may seem difficult but good communication is a skill that can be learned and practiced. We don’t have to always know how we feel or have the right words to express our feelings.  We don’t always know why we don’t fight for something or why we can’t just let it go. Sometimes we communicate too much as well as too little.  Everyone has a different style of communicating and different problem areas.

Above anything else, the best communication happens when two people care about each other’s well being and are willing to admit when they are wrong, explore new possibilities and let go of old concepts.

But no matter what age you are, what position you are in your life you can and should always work on your communication. Here are some psychology principles and specific tips you can use to improve.

Claim yourself.

  • Take responsibility for your own opinions, feelings, thoughts and needs
  • Patience is a virtue but if someone is not respecting you- you don’t have to take it. You can leave the situation
  • Allow yourself to be vulnerable
  • Give yourself space- take a step back and reflect before acting out
  • Don’t say something just to get “the right answer” or reaction
  • Nobody can make you feel or do something and you can’t make anyone feel or do something. You have a choice in the matter and so do they
  • Know your limits and respect your emotional boundaries and the limits of others
  • Try not to count on the validation of others in order to feel good
  • Don’t ignore your needs & recognize the needs of others

Be clear.

  • Try to make clear and simple statements about what you think, feel, need & want
  • Say what you mean & try not to exaggerate (if you don’t know what or how you feel then say so)
  • If you are having a hard time being clear or speaking up for yourself practice what you want to say before you say it (write it down)
  • Think about what you are hoping to achieve & want you want from someone
  • Try to be concise & speak simply: less is often more – try not to don’t over explain/ babble
  • Be honest with yourself- respect yourself and others

Be Courteous.

  • Be empathetic: actively listen by paraphrasing & validating someone
  • Be patient with yourself and others
  • Self disclosure:  allow yourself to be available and vulnerable
  • Admit your own faults and allow your feelings to change
  • Don’t vent, scold, or shame people
  • Constructive criticism is always better than blaming someone or making aggressive claims
  • Give compliments and recognize the positive actions and efforts of others
  • Listen with attention and respect
  • Timing (choose your moments wisely) / Don’t be too impulsive
  • Be courteous about when you start a conversation

Be Assertive.

  • Be direct (stay away from hinting at something or asking leading questions) ask “ Did you forget that today is my birthday? ” instead of  “Aren’t you forgetting to do say something to me?”
  • Try not to speak abstractly (beating around the bush)
  • Don’t apologize for or belittle your ideas or needs

Take Action.

  • Actions speak louder than words: maybe your lover simply needs a hug or a smile
  • Do not stay in an unhealthy or dangerous situation
  • Do what you say you are going to do
  • Set limits and make exceptions
  • Take action instead of analyzing or making excuses
  • Ask for help when you need it
  • Once in a while stop look around & go out of your way to be nice to someone you love

Be kind.

  • Let things go- you do not always need to be right
  • Thank those around you often
  • Forgive
  • Be aware of your audience (try to understand them)
  • Listen: You must hear in order to be heard
  • It is ok to attune yourself so others will be more receptive

This is a lot to work on! A skilled therapist such as a Montreal Therapy Centre psychotherapist, family counselor, couples therapist can assist you learn more about how to effectively communicate in daily life and in your important relationships. Make an appointment, in person or online.