|How to Improve
Your Relationship With Effective Communication
by Dr. Steve Frisch, Psy.D.
Have you ever stopped to think
just how important effective communication is to the well-being of your relationships?
When you express yourself to someone, youre expressing more than just words.
Youre expressing your thoughts, ideas, attitudes, values, priorities, and emotions
about yourself, the people in your life, and the circumstances of your life. And
dont kid yourself, no matter what you actually say, there are hidden messages
embedded in what you say. So not only is your relationship with other people impacted by
what you say, its impacted by how you say what it is that you say.
Not only does what you
say and how you say what you say influence how people think of you, it influences how
people respond to you. Theres just no getting away from ityoure always
communicating something to somebody.
Now heres why
effective communication is so important to the good health and well-being of your
relationships. The more effective a communicator that you are, the more likely youll
get your emotional needs met in your relationships. What effective communication can do
for you is put an end to the stalemates that occur between you and your partner when you
believe youve communicated one idea but in actuality youve communicated
something entirely different.
Since the health and
well-beings is so dependent on how effectively you communicate let me give you a checklist
that describes different qualities that characterize poor communication.
Bridge Builders Checklist
1.) Indirect communication that never clearly states what you want your partner to know or
3.) Hostile and accusatory
5.) Veiled (youre true message is embedded in other messages)
6.) Puzzling messages that requires your partner to interpret what you actually mean
Not only is it helpful to know what elements make-up ineffective communication, its
equally helpful to be able to envision what elements make-up effective communication.
6.) Non-dominating whereas there is give and take
7.) Responsive to what your partner is expressing both verbally and non-verbally
You would be amazed how much your relationships grow once you become more comfortable
communicating in a clear, open, and honest fashion. Once you become more skilled at how to
express yourself in a way that your partner can hear you, you will discover how truly
wonderful your relationship can be. So if you find yourself feeling discouraged or
frustrated by the lack of receptiveness your partner is showing to what you are expressing
remember the pitfalls of communication summed in the following quote by Oscar Wilde: I
like hearing myself talk. It is one of my greatest pleasures. I often have long
conversations with myself, and I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single
word of what I am saying.
1.) Commit to being open, honest, and direct with your partner.
2.) Commit to being an active listener.
3.) Commit to openly and honestly communicating your emotional needs.
4.) Commit to using communication as a way of including rather than excluding people from
5.) Commit to not using communication as a way of harming the people in your life.
6.) Commit to not using communication as a way of controlling other people.
7.) Commit to not using communication as a way of manipulating other people.
8.) Commit to not using communication as a way of shaming other people.
9.) Commit to not using what your partner communicates to you against your partner.
For more information about how to effectively express yourself, read chapter 3 (Communication)
in Dr. Frischs, Psy.D. free online book, Building Better Bridges: Creating
Great Relationships With the People Who Matter Most and read Dr. Frischs,
Psy.D. free online book, Making Molehills Out of Mountains and
Dr. Frischs, Psy.D. free online articles, Revealing YourselfHow to Make
Yourself Known to Your Partner.