Communication is the key to any healthy relationship. In fact, the first sign that a relationship is in trouble is a communication breakdown. This dimension of relationships does not only apply to romantic involvement. It applies in every type of relationship where there must be a give and take of ideas in order for the relationship to grow and thrive.
Parents must communicate with children, businesses must communicate with customers, and teachers must communicate with students. It is said that we are in the age of information and communication. However, contemporary society is exhibiting a breakdown in communication and social skills of considerable proportions.
Part of the reason for this lack of communicative skill is that people think it is an easy activity or that it comes naturally to every individual. This assumption is not always true. There are social skills which are keys to communication that many need practice to master. Below are three basic aspects of healthy communication skills that will be further discussed:
- Listening Skills
- Body Language Recognition
- Sincerity in Language
In reality, listening rather than talking is the most important part of communication. People can become so wrapped up in formulating their own ideas and responses to a given situation that they completely tune out the ideas and goals of their partner. Listening also involves interpretation. It is important for an individual to do their best to interpret the information they are receiving in the way they believe their partner intends it to be viewed.
The communication should not be seen through a lens that only applies to one’s own interests or supplies them with some sort of advantage. Interpretations carried out in this way are suppose to take into consideration the emotions and feelings of the other person. As a whole, communication based on listening increases the amount of security that both parties feel they have within the relationship.
Effective communication also looks at things other than words. Body language can often tell the whole story. Eye contact, the presence of a physical touch, and the openness of the chest can all reveal key insights into how your partner is feeling. In many cases, people may believe that they feel a certain way based on what they are saying with their words while, at the same time, their body tells a completely different story. It is not uncommon for there to be a communication gap because one does not pay attention to what they are saying with their body. Typically this kind of confusion results in what people deem as “mixed signals.”
Sincerity is the other major dimension of communication that is valuable in healthy relationships. This aspect can be a bit more tricky. The statements and feelings that you may value to a high degree may not be valued as much as your partner. This instance is where listening comes in again. You must try to understand the frame of reference that your partner is coming from in order for there to be meaningful communication.
None of us are perfect communicators. A willingness to invest yourself and exhibit concern for the other party as the relationship changes over time is what can really make a difference when it comes to communication. Improving the skills outlined here are likely to result in improvements in all aspects of your daily life.