Good communication requires 3 things:
1.Express your feelings openly and directly.
2.Listen nondefensively when the other talks.
3.Listen with respect even if you feel angry or frustrated. You can share angry feelings in a respectful way without demeaning or insulting the other.
Poor communication is the opposite of this and looks like this:
1. Instead of opening up, you hide your feelings or act them out aggressively.
2. Instead of listening, you argue defensively and insist they are wrong.
3. Instead of conveying respect, you go to war and try to put the other down.
When you are the listener, you need to be quiet and have receptive body language. Your goal should be not to agree or disagree, but to paraphrase and express how they were probably feeling.
You need to examine your role in the conflict. Also, the conflict will probably not get resolved if your motivation does not lie in wanting connection and closeness.
By following these guidelines for good communication, relationships can be greatly improved if both people are mature and want closeness.
Colleen Montgomery is an individual and couples counselor in Severna Park, MD. It is important for therapists to listen empathically during counseling, reflect thoughts, practice new skills and to challenge distorted thinking. People often have distorted thoughts that reflect low self esteem and this can be greatly improved in counseling. Colleen can be reached at 410-336-4950 to set up an appointment.