Effective communication skills:
Effective communication skills are a prerequisite for having a happy, long lasting, and fulfilling relationship.
Get the dialogue going!
Note: 'Special Greeting for Gentlemen only!'
So you would think that there would be classes offered in grade school, high school, or college to cover this very important subject. But, unfortunately, that's not the case.
While there are a plethora of lectures on effective communication skills in the work place, almost non focus on the communication ability of two human beings in their own private space.
I find that to be quite unusual and somewhat disturbing.
How can we be expected to get along as a nation, when we cant even get along in the privacy of our own homes? Ive thought about this incongruence for quite a long time.
However, lately, I've been overwhelmed by an emotional need to do something about it - an urgency that I absolutely cannot ignore. And that's why I have chosen to act.
Since my mode of expression is writing, and my experience comes from my own home, I've decided to get the ball rolling by discussing my own ineffective and effective communication skills.
I figured that would be a good place to start because I believe that all of us can benefit by sharing each other's experiences and allowing our differences to build our ultimate strength.
The time has come to take our own happiness into our own hands and at the very least, get the dialogue going.
I believe that effective communication skills have to be integrated into our daily lives, because if we cant understand each other, what else is left?
I would like to help you develop those effective communication skills by sharing with you my own experiences.
Even though they are my failures and successes, effective communication skills are universal. So you can observe, learn, and imitate those that fit your lifestyle and ignore those that do not.
But one way or another, I promise you that by becoming an effective communicator and acquiring the necessary effective communication skills, you will be one HUGE step closer to living a life of true romance!
There are only five basic fundamentals to earning a masters in effective, romantic communication, and they are:
Desire: to CONNECT, to INTERACT, to BOND, to UNDERSTAND
Honesty: to speak the TRUTH but with RESPECT
Perseverance: to TRY again and again with PATIENCE of true love
Humility: to ACCEPT your flaws while RECOGNIZING his virtues
Differentiation: to be able to DISCERN between doing and being (Ill go over this idea in a bit)
Some of these elements will flow naturally, while others might require some extra work. So be patient and take it one step at a time.
Your first assignment will be to acknowledge your limitations. Not always an easy task, but an absolute must if youre going to become an effective communicator.
Believe me, once you get a handle on and develop the fundamental effective communication skills mentioned above, your life will take on a completely new essence
a sereneness that you wont ever want to live without.
For instance, in my family, theres a history of harming honesty. I grew up with the belief that honesty comes first no matter what, even if people end up getting hurt. "But I was speaking the truth" what could be so wrong with that, right (just in case you were wondering, not an effective communication skill)?
That was the attitude with which I entered into my relationship with Jay. Boy, was that a mistake!
A mistake that could have cost me the love of my life!
When I first met Jay, I would be brutally honest with him, which in my case was the same as being horribly hurtful.
I loved this man and yet I was saying bluntly truthful things to him that were absolutely awful. Obviously there was something wrong with that (actually much more than just something) and Im glad that I realized it sooner than later (with his help, of course).
Here are a few other examples of my not so effective communication skills:
The words I was using (offensive, strong, impolite)
The tone of my voice (dogmatic, high-pitched)
My believe that I was expressing THE TRUTH, instead of MY TRUTH (lack of humility)
My physical posture (cold, proud, distant)
It took a lot of courage and determination for me to change my behavior (after all, there were several generations of family tradition embedded there).
But I couldnt have done it without Jays support. He taught me what real communication skill was all about. He showed me, by example, that it was possible to be both honest and considerate at the same time.
And that was when I realized that individuality and unity could thrive simultaneously without regret -- it was a truly life-altering moment.
Now lets summarized the three most important lessons that youve learnt so far:
1. Recognize your limitations and flaws
2. Work diligently to transform your inadequacies into good practices
3. Ask for and accept help
And heres some more food for thought:
4. We communicate with our entire body (another effective communication skill). So keep an eye not only on your words but your looks, stance, and attitude as well.
5. We can always change for the better. Where there is love, there is no cant
6. Disrespect and true love dont fit together
7. When we hurt our loved one we hurt ourselves even more
Ok, now that were clear about the basics of effective communication skills, lets continue with the more advanced material.
Differentiation: discerning between doing and being. What do I mean by that? Ill explain by giving you another example from my own experience.
I remember one specific discussion (oh, yes! I never said that living a life of romance and the development of effective communication skills didn't involve having lots of long discussions, did I?) where I was telling Jay about a new project that I was developing at work.
I talked for almost an hour explaining all the various details and concerns that I was having. After I was done speaking, I wanted to get his opinion -- just a simple comment or acknowledgement of my frustrations. <>As it turned out, he didnt hear a word I said. He heard the story but did not listen at all. I was furious! So furious, that I started to shout at him (again, not an effective communication skill):
-you are so selfish,
-you never care about my problems,
-you dont respect my professional skills,
-I always have to do everything alone,
-Im tired of this situation, etc., etc.
And my complaints were getting worse and worse until he stopped me and said:
-Am I selfish? Please explain why
-I never care about your problems? Give me examples of situations where I didnt care
-I dont respect your professional skills? Explain to me my pattern of conduct regarding my disrespect of you?
-You always have to do everything alone? What things have you done without my support?
-You are tired of this situation? What situation?
Of course I didnt have any answers to his questions:
-He is not selfish. He did something selfish. He just didnt listen to me at that specific moment.
-He always cares about my problems. He just didnt listen to me at that specific moment.
-He does respect my professional skills. He just didnt listen to me at that specific moment.
-He does support me. He just didnt listen to me at that specific moment.
-There isnt any situation. He just didnt listen to me at that specific moment.
So, you get the idea, right? He just didnt listen to me at that specific moment. The reason doesnt matter. Maybe he had other things on his mind, or maybe he was tired, or maybe he simply didnt find my project interesting. Thats not the point.
The point is that we all experience off moments and we all make mistakes.
However, one or two specific actions dont make the whole person.
So, our next and last lesson is:
8. Do not make a diagnosis of a persons personality based on one single action. Identify the real problem and discuss it. Focus on one situation at a time (and at the RIGHT time).
These are just a few tips to get you started on your road to becoming an effective communicator.
Begin integrating these lessons gradually into your life and youll begin to see the difference almost immediately. The start of any journey is always the most difficult. But once you begin, life and love will never be the same.
Believe it or not, you dont need anything more than these simple tools to become an effective communication skills expert.
Always remember: it doesnt matter whether you speak it, smile it, cry it, touch it, or draw it, just as long as you truly RomanceIt!
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