Why did I choose to put communication first on the list of the elements of trust? There are numerous reasons why communication is important, but, I’ll be honest here, I compiled this list of the key fundamentals for trust, and I was having trouble figuring out which element should be discussed first. Which should be numero uno. So I did what any self respecting adult would do and I asked my children (lol).
I was completely blown away by what they said and the reasons behind their answers.
(Remember these answers are coming from my 12 and 10 year old.)
My 12 year old stated confidently, communication. Why, I found myself asking him. He responded by saying my friends and I like to talk. It’s fun, and we stop problems from happening before they become problems.
My 10 year old daughter simply said, how can you trust someone if you can’t even talk to them about a problem you have with them?
Kids are very intelligent and can sometimes see things more simple and clearly than we as adults can. We muck it all up and complicate things that shouldn’t be that hard. Ahhh look at that … communication.
What causes disagreements and arguments? Well, you could Google that question and find a multitude of reasons, but I’m convinced it’s all because of the way we communicate our issues and problems with the said person.
Effective communication is a big key in maintaining healthy relationships with the people in our lives, whether it be our significant other or our bosses. If we can’t or don’t get our point across in an effective and respectful manner how are we to expect to get the results we desire to achieve? We can’t and won’t.
So, here’s the burning question we all want to know … what is the key to effective communication? We all know it’s one of the main key components in maintaining a trusting, healthy relationship, but how do we accomplish it? How do we use it and how can we maintain it when we are in that heated moment and we feel like we’re about to blow a gasket? I mean, let’s be honest, we have all been to that point in an argument. Our veins start throbbing and our eyes are about to pop out of our heads, but how do we remain calm and collected as so we can have an effective conversation about an issue that’s bothering us?
In this article we are hoping to give you the tools to do just that … maintain effective communication in just those types of situations.
5 Steps to begin effective communication
1. Know what you want to communicate
Go into the conversation knowing exactly what you are wanting to accomplish. Because, think of it this way, if you aren’t sure of what you are trying to say then how the heck is the other person supposed to know? They can’t !!! If you’re unsure of what you’re trying to say or what you are wanting to accomplish with this conversation then you may very well miss your opportunity to get your thoughts, feelings, and point across.
2. How you enter the conversation will determine the outcome
If you enter or start the conversation with heated or angry words and/or tone your significant other will automatically be on the defensive from the very beginning, and that is definitely not the way you want to start off the conversation. I know it can be hard but give yourself some time to cool down and reflect as so you can enter into the conversation in a mentally healthy place. You may be saying, “Well, that’s easier said than done,” but you will be surprised just how much more actual communication you can get across by being calm rather than screaming and yelling (although sometimes that’s exactly what we feel like and want to do !!!). Your significant other won’t be as defensive and you can effectively communicate the issue.
3. Don’t just talk, also listen
If you want to be heard you also need to listen. Even if you don’t want to hear what they have to say, listen. See where their heart was at the time the offense occurred. When you believe there is a problem with something, your significant other might perceive it as no big deal or wasn’t intending it how it came across to you. They could be coming from a completely different place than you originally thought. And all it took was a little listening.This is why listening is so important. They can see how this behavior or their words hurt you and you can see if that was their true intention or not. If it wasn’t, then you can work together to fix the issue.
4. Ask questions
This goes hand and hand with listening. Ask questions to determine what the true intent was and listen to understand. This is the most important. When we’re upset or hurt, trying to understand where the person who you feel betrayed or hurt you is coming from is the last thing on your mind. But, here’s the deal, if you care about the person and the relationship this is EXACTLY when understanding needs to come into play. This is where pride and ego need to go out the window and love and understanding needs to take over.
5. Ask for what you want and need
I know I’ve already said know what you want, but you actually have to ask for it, too. If you can’t tell your significant other what you want and need to change to solve the problem, how are they supposed to meet your needs? They can’t. You can’t change something if you don’t know what or how to change whatever it was that hurt them, and that’s exactly what we want to do when we love someone, help them feel loved and unhurt by us.And sometimes you just don’t know what you want or need but you know what they did hurt you. It’s okay to say, “I’m not sure what I need you to do but I do know what you did hurt me,” and work from there.
But please realize that not every situation is going to turn out the exact way we want it to AND not everyone we want to work out our disagreements with is going to be willing to have a healthy and effective conversation with us. But if we go into each situation with a hopeful, if not even positive attitude, I would almost bet that everyone will come out feeling better about the disagreement than when you went into it.