Verbal and non-verbal language is an essential element for committing in a marriage, friendship, business relationship and virtually all others. We depend on making ourselves understood to convey our wants and needs, likes and dislikes, thoughts and feelings and to make requests of others. These communication skills can be applied inside and outside of the bedroom.
We communicate non-verbally with our faces and our bodies. For example, when we are listening, we might tilt our heads a bit or lean forward toward the speaker. The speaker would likely perceive us to be interested and listening attentively.
Conversely, if we fidget, sigh, roll our eyes, make any of a number of faces with our mouths and lips (you know what I mean!), we could be accurately perceived by the speaker to be in disagreement, contemptuous, critical, disapproving, etc.
We communicate verbally with the words we choose, with inflection, pitch, decibel level and cadence. And make no mistake: a speaker’s attitude comes across loud and clear when they are speaking.
Here are seven simple and easy tips to communicate effectively:
1. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Don't try to be coy when you're attempting to be clear in your communication. You're not running for a political office.
2. Do what you say and say what you do. There's nothing more frustrating than a person who makes a bunch of promises, but never puts them into action. Be accountable for what you say and earn respect by backing it up with your actions.
3. Own your internal experience. Your thoughts and feelings, needs and wants, likes and dislikes are valid and legitimate. That means identify what is going on for you inside yourself, learn to language it and find the courage to express it. Ownership implies that you know and believe that you are okay with who you are and how you experience and react to your inside and outside worlds. Other people do not have to understand or agree in order for your experiences to be valid, legitimate and respected. This is about you!
4. Don't discredit the feelings of others. Remember that other people's feelings are also legit. You may or may not understand, but please respect their experience(s). If you need to respond to a person you may agree
to disagree, but remember this is about them! This is not about you.
5. Pay attention to needs. When a need is unmet it becomes an issue. We have many opportunities to experience and express issues in our marriages. Common ways to respond, although unproductive and harmful, are to complain, blame and criticize. Next time you experience an issue try making a request. Identify what you need or want or what you want someone to do or say differently, then make a request. Focus on what you want to happen instead of what isn’t happening or what happened that you didn’t like.
6. Tell your whole truth. Notice I didn’t say the truth. Your truth is your recognition of what you are experiencing inside yourself and outside of yourself at any given moment. If you are experiencing an upset over your spouse or a disappointment, you may know or understand less about what you are experiencing than at other times. Find the courage to say as much as you can about what you think, feel, need and want. When you have more clarity or additional knowing be sure to share them with you spouse.
7. Be a good listener. Listening is an essential and valuable skill. Becoming a good listener takes time and practice and is enormously appreciated by others. When you are engaged in a meaningful conversation, say to your spouse, "Tell me more." This is a special invitation that conveys your interest and intention to listen.
Communication is one of the essential parts of creating rich, meaningful marriages. Communicating verbally and non-verbally in a kind, responsible and respectful way furthers understanding, a sense of feeling valued, respected and cared for and increases intimacy and trust.
Remember, only you can make it happen!
Wendy Strgar is the founder of GoodCleanLove.com. which provides products and advice for sustainable love. If you have questions about products or toys send them in and Wendy will be happy to share her knowledge. When visiting the website, use coupon code NEWSITE08, to enjoy a new year 15 percent discount.
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