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Improving Communication Skills in Relationships

Create a context in which your partner can feel free to share feelings, thoughts, fantasies, hurts, and complaints, without the fear that you will condemn, attack, lecture, or simply withdraw. We tend to be as critical of others as we are of ourselves.

  • Know that you have a right to your feelings as others have a right to theirs.
  • Working on a relationship always begins with working on ourselves.
  • Try not to blame all of the relational problems on your partner.
  • Remember, you only have control over changing yourself, not others, and the temptation is to blame others for our problems.
  • Don't rush yourself into sharing emotionally painful information.
  • Sometimes it's best to write out your concerns in private then share them with your partner at a later time.

The Sentence-Completion method can help. Set aside a block of time when you and your partner can talk and after obtaining agreement, do the following exercise. Practice now with your partner...

Both of you should take turns completing the following statements on communication:

  1. Communication to me means ...
  2. The hard thing about intimate communication is ...
  3. Sometimes I withdraw from communication when ...

It is also beneficial to complete the following statements on self-disclosure:
  1. I am a person who ...
  2. One of the things I'd like people to know about me is ...
  3. When I try to talk about things that are important to me...
  4. When I try to express intimate feelings ...
  5. If I were more open about expressing my feelings and opinions ...
  6. When people try to talk with me, sometimes I ...

Further it is useful to explore obstacles to communication by completing these statements:
  1. If I weren't concerned about the listener's response ...
  2. Sometimes I become blocked when ...
  3. One of the ways I sometimes make it difficult for people to talk to me is ...

Miscommunication - Root Cause of Problems?

People with opposing ideas can soon stir up arguments and fights. It's that situation when one thinks he has the right concept while the other one also believes he has the proper notion. Both of them may try to outsmart each other until one claims victory.

There's a conflict with their beliefs. No two people are exactly alike. We are totally unique; not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as wel.

There will be many times when your opinion will not correspond with that of another. So how can we prevent this kind of conflict from occurring? Communication is the key to overcoming doubts and misunderstandings. You should let other people know what's in your mind. Don't keep them guessing.

There was a story about two couples who were filing for divorce. After the lawyer had spoken to them both, he found out that the root cause of all their problems was due to miscommunication. Here's one of the couple's problems.

The man filing the divorce said that he just hated the breakfast meal that his wife often prepared for him. On the other hand, the wife said that she only prepared the meal because she thought it was her husband's favorite. But she never liked cooking it because it's very difficult to prepare.

If only one of them had taken the initiative to speak out with what was in his or her mind, then that particular dilemma would be over. Why would people prefer to keep their complaints and criticisms to themselves? What's holding them back? It's because they do not want to be rejected. Most, people, if not all, would like to be accepted and to be perceived as likeable in the eyes of others.

So can you get your message across without hurting the other person's feelings? One thing you can do is to substitute negative statements with more positive ones. Instead of saying, "You don't understand," say "Let me explain." Instead of remarking, "You're wrong," say "Permit me to clarify." Instead of stating, "You failed to say..." just mention, "Perhaps this was not stated..."

There are certain words that affect a person more negatively in comparison with other words that have the same meaning. Nothing is more pleasing than hearing someone else say that you are right. In this case, be prepared to let other people know that you respect their opinions. You may add your comments at the end, but acknowledge them first. Say: "You're right, although..." "Great suggestion, however..." "I agree with your opinion, but have you also considered..." "I would feel the same way if I were you, although..." "I understand your situation. From my point of view..."

Communication is a gift. Use it wisely for everyone's advantage

Build Solid Relationships Using the Power of Words

We may not be aware of it but the words we utter daily may have different interpretations, when seen from another's point of view. Here's an example... Would you rather have someone tell you that you are "slim," or would you prefer to hear that you are "thin?" Being slim has a slightly positive effect because it is attributed to health and fitness, thin quite the opposite.

Rather than saying another has failed, just mention that they have not yet achieved success. Always try to express your meaning in the most positive way you can think of.

Here's another important piece of advice. Never compare the negative qualities of one person with another. A former boss of mine had this to say to me when I made an error in my previous job, "James is doing a much better job than you are. He's not makinging mistakes every day like you do." That crushed my heart. My boss thought this would motivate me to do better. Nope, it just hurt my feelings and lowered my self-esteem. Of course, I would never make the same mistakes again after her harsh scolding, I learned my lesson well. But she could have said it more tactfully, and I would have been encouraged rather than thinking about finding employment elsewhere.

Any kind of discouragement or condemnation will inevitably have a negative effect on the recipient. Some parents might believe that instilling fear in their children will improve their performance. They would say, "You're always failing. Why can't you be like your brother? You're such a disgrace to this family."

Now of course that's not the proper way to do it. They should inspire, encourage, and motivate their children; not belittle and manipulate them. They should tell their children that they have the capacity to achieve great things, if they would only put in a little more effort. Teach them values that would make them feel important and loved.

You may even go as far as telling the child they have qualities that they do not yet possess. By giving them confidence and by making them believe that they have such characteristics, they will eventually acquire the same. Tell them how bright you think they are, and you will soon be surprised at the results. They will significantly improve if you firmly make them believe that they have the capacity to do so.

So if you ever want to persuade or encourage someone to do better, make sure that he or she is motivated out of inspiration, and not out of fear. Give advice that cares, and not offensive words borne out of hatred or anger.

Think first before you speak. Many relationships have been ruined by the wrong choice of words. Some people voice out anything that comes to their mind, without first filtering the good words from the bad ones. This might result in misunderstandings and arguments,which could have easily been prevented if we had spoken in a way that was neutral and non-offensive, even empathic.

Words are very powerful indeed. Use them responsibly for the benefit of all.


Having excellent persuasion skills is one of the most important abilities to possess in today's fast-paced world, where businesses depend on successful presentation and marketing. We also need the support and cooperation of other people to help us in reaching our goals. The saying, "No man is an island," is an undeniable truth. Here are some hot tips to effectively influence and persuade anyone you desire.

  1. Enter their world.
    You must understand the situation according to their point of view. Set aside your personal interests and concentrate on them. Just pretend that if you were them, what would you do? What would be your opinion? Then take the appropriate action that would be beneficial to them.

    Copy them. Observe how they act, how they speak, and how they think. If they rub their forehead while they think, act like them. If they speak at a clear and slow pace, try to do the same thing. This is called mirroring. In due time, the people you're mirroring will subconsciously feel more comfortable with you. It's as if they see themselves in you.

    However, you must proceed with caution. Do not let them be aware that you are copying them. They might interpret it as mockery or recognize it as manipulation. You should not be trying to manipulate; rather to achieve excellent communication and be fully understood.

  2. Be Friendly and nice.
    Smile to brighten up the day - your own and others you meet. Make a sincere compliment to raise their spirits. Little things like these count a lot. Make another feel that whenever they need help or just someone to rely on, you'll always be there to lend a hand. Of course, any person will tend to be more receptive to those that they trust.

    If you want to ask your boss a favor, do everything you can to impress him - not as a stooge but as a confident and competent employee. Overdeliver and exceed his expectations. Soon, he will notice your efforts and will be more than glad to grant your request.

  3. Provide compelling evidence.
    Explain to the other how your ideas or suggestions would be the most effective techniques to implement. Show them undeniable proof that you have the best product by way of testimonials, before and after scenarios, and detailed comparisons against your competitors. Just make sure that all your claims are true and verifiable. Always maintain a good reputation.

  4. Meet existing needs and desires.
    People are self-centered. They are initially concerned with their own well-being before others. If you can show that your proposal will provide more advantages and benefits to them than to others, then they will probably accept it.

    If you focus clearly on their interests, desires, needs, and expectations, then you satisfy their cravings for attention. Moreover, it shows that you really care about them. Mutual trust and respect can then be established.

    This is the most important thing to remember when persuading anyone. No matter how empathic your relationship or how overwhelming your evidence is, if your presentation does not satisfy the "What's In It For Me?" test, your efforts will not produce satisfactory results. Always be very clear about how the person you are hoping to persuade will stand to benefit from your actions or product

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