Three ways to improve your communication

I want to start a blog for folks that may not be ready or have the means to actually have sessions with someone like myself who is an expert in relationships and family.  I also just want to give back to so many that have contributed to my growth and those are all of you that I have had the honor and privilege to partner with.

As a clinician that has worked many years in a psychiatric hospital setting and now in my own practice, I can say that there are definite themes that are consistent and persistent problems in peoples relationships and lives.  I plan on addressing these problems in my blogging.

As I thought and thought about what to write my first blog on, I kept hearing, “Help I need to know how to communicate better with my wife, kids, and, family.”  Almost all of my patients/clients want and need communication skills that are effective, easy to apply, and that make sense.

So here goes with 3 simple ways (simple is a relative term) to improve your communication with the ones you love and care about:

1.  Be direct–  No beating around the bush!  Talk in terms of what is happening with you not the person you are communicating with.  Describe to them how the event or circumstances involving them has or is effecting you without blame and shame.

2.  Be concise–  People get lost in too many words and examples.  Keep it short and choose your words carefully.  Be sure not to use “fighting words” like You, well if you, or I wouldn’t of if you…..Again focus on you because you are the only one that you can control.

3.  Be honest–  Yes the truth will set you free.  It may be the hardest way to go at times but it is usually the best in the short and long haul.  One rule of thumb that may help you is to ask yourself if by telling this person the truth, will it truly cause harm?

Note:  Harm does not mean that the person my get upset, or get their feelings hurt.  You are not responsible for other peoples choices or their own reactions, they are.  (Unless you are co-dependent and in that case we need to talk further, feel free to write me about this).

With those three items said above, be direct, concise, and honest you will find your communication improving significantly.  It takes practice and the willingness to try something new.  It also takes slowing down and not needing problems to be solved RIGHT NOW!  The quality of the connection and relationship is far more important than getting a problem solved pronto.  More about this in my next blog.

I hope this helps, it has worked for hundreds of my clients.  I would love to hear from you about what you would like me to address or answer questions on my blog.

Thanks for your time and interest and remember,  “What you focus on will grow.”

Lisa Angel, Licensed Family Therapist