Better Communication with The People You Love

by Oct 11, 2019

Better Communication with The People You Love

by Oct 11, 2019

The weather is starting to cool off. The temperature setting in the office AC is moving up a few degrees. We just served Starbucks Winter Blend at church this past Sunday. Our Marriage Conference is coming up at the end of this month. All of these events mean that our couples at church may be drawing closer to each other in intimacy due to warming each other up.

But one thing that should always be drawing us closer to each other (regardless of the weather) is applying better communication skills with those around us. So this goes for our interactions with our spouse, our children, our co-workers, and even with strangers. With our Marriage Conference a couple weeks away and a lot of our children on Fall Break this week, lets look at 3 easy ways to improve our communication with those we love.

1. Practice basic communication skills.

Writing down some fundamental communication skills on a notecard and then reviewing the concept before applying it in a conversation with a loved one is a great start to improving your communication skills. A couple of basic skills are to reflect feelings and clarify content. Reflecting feelings is listening to your loved one and reflecting back their feelings like a mirror. For example, “I can see that you are upset, what can I do to help?”

Since the person you are talking to isn’t a mind-reader, you need to make clear what your intentions are behind your words. If you are receiving someone’s words and you don’t understand their meaning, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. There are always problems and unnecessary hardships when we jump to conclusions. I remember as a teenager, my driving instructor transferred this idea of clarifying content when you are driving with others on the road. He said, “Don’t assume anything.” And he later explained when you assume, (using all the letters in the word “assume”), it makes an “#*&” of “u” and “me”.

2. Exercise lots of grace.

The way to becoming proficient in any skill is to acquire lots of practice and experience. When talking with your young children, give lots of grace to them as they try to communicate their feelings to you. Put your personal standards of acceptable communication on the side and rather, draw closer to your loved one through trying to understand one another. When we acknowledge that our spouse, child, or friend is reaching out to us, we need to cultivate and appreciate the opportunity for communication, and not critique it. Give one another grace, and room to fail.

3. Create an emotional safety zone.

When someone wants to truly communicate and share with another person, they want to feel emotionally safe. If a person doesn’t feel safe, their defenses come up and true communication of feelings and ideas will disappear. So how can you provide an emotional safety zone? By not casting judgment on what the other person says and also by pinpointing what your loved one needs. Maybe it is a need of approval, or perhaps assurance that you are listening to them.

God’s word gives us valuable insights into how we should speak, treat, and communicate with one another. Our words are a reflection of what is in our hearts, so we should constantly be filling our hearts and minds with what is best. As you go about your day today preparing for an opportunity to communicate with a loved one, remember the words of the apostle Paul in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable- if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy- dwell on these things.”