“I love the Lord because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live” (Psalm 116:1-2).
Are you a fixer? When a loved one comes to you for emotional support, do you try and share what you think would be a good solution to their problem? It is normal to feel uneasy when someone we love is in pain. A typical response would be to try and find a way to make them feel better. Thus the race to find a way to fix it begins.
As couples, friends, parents, and children, we all struggle with communication. Whether we feel unheard and invalidated or confused about how to express what we are feeling, we can learn effective skills that can create more peace in our relationships.
Some helpful tips for effective communication include:
- Actively listening by being attuned to what the speaker is saying. This is accomplished by maintaining eye contact, leaning into the conversation, and minimizing distractions so you can focus.
- Use “I feel” statements instead of “you did” statements.
- Repeat back to the speaker what you heard them say by paraphrasing their words into your own.
- Ask the other person what they need from you in the conversation.
- Hear them out completely before starting on your own expression.
- Speak calmly and respectfully.
- Try writing out your thoughts before you verbalize them so you say what you mean to say.
- Avoid speaking in anger. If the conversation is becoming too angry, take a break before continuing the discussion.
The need to be right