10 steps to a healthy communication

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Communication problems are one of the problems that we often experience from the past to the present. We can experience this problem almost every day with our parents, spouse, child, friend, boss, employees or other people older or younger than us. The problem comes to such a level that we find ourselves thinking that we are no longer understood or that our communication partner, the other party, does not want to understand us. Over time, this negative thought can cause our feelings to be in the same negativity, and after a while, it can cause us to exhibit the behavior of cutting off communication altogether. However, the picture is not as pessimistic as it seems. There are only a few points that need to be considered in order to establish healthy communication. These points can be listed as follows:

1. Be sure to make eye contact when talking to your communication partner.

2. When talking to your communication partner, be sure to listen rather than think about your answers.

3. After your communication partner has expressed himself, try to empathize with him. Use empathetic expressions that show you understand her thoughts/ideas. For example; “As far as I can tell, you think I can’t take care of you enough.”, “You think your friends are making fun of you.”, “You think you can’t do this job.” etc.

4. After your communication partner expresses himself, try to empathize with him. Use empathetic expressions that show you understand her feelings. For example; “You are upset/offended/annoyed about this.”, “You feel unhappy about it.”, “This incident has made you very happy.”, “You seem very excited about going on a trip.”, “As far as I understand, this behavior of your brother/friend/boss makes you angry. very angry.”, “I think I offended you by saying that.”, etc.

5. Expressing your feelings and thoughts so that your communication partner listens to you “I” Be careful to use your language. For example; “I am disappointed”, “I feel sad”. Such expressions “I” expressions in which the language is used. But “You are wrong.” or “You make me sad.” Expressions such as “you” are expressions that accuse the other party/communication partner. This can cause communication breakdown. However “I” In communications using language, the other party/contact partner almost never shows the tendency to raise their arms, and communication is established in a healthier way. Example “I language” statements: “I’m sorry you feel this way,” “I’m glad you think that way,” “It makes me angry when it’s done that way.”, “I feel bad when it’s done that way.”, “I feel very happy when you help me.”

6. Try to find some truth in what your communication partner says, even if it seems completely illogical and unfair. For example; “You’re right, sometimes I can’t spend enough time with you.”, “You’re right, it’s really hard to deal with this situation sometimes.” etc.

7. Try to find something positive to say to your communication partner, even at the height of the argument, and try to use flattering sentences. “Actually, you’re trying very hard at this.” “You’re pretty good at this.” etc.

8. To make sure you understand your communication partner correctly and to learn more about their feelings and thoughts, politely ask investigative questions. For example; “Can you explain this to me a little more?”, “You seem to be feeling lonely and sad. Do I understand you correctly?”, “What you say seems important. Could you tell me a little more about what you think about it?”, etc.

9. When your communication partner tells you about a problem, try to express your understanding of the problem and the problem by using the techniques mentioned above, instead of trying to find a solution or give advice directly. This will allow the other party to calm down in a short time. When he calms down, he will be able to take healthier steps to solve the problem. The important thing in this process is to be able to see support and understanding.

10. Always try to maintain your respect for your communication partner’s ideas. In this way, he will maintain his respect for you.

As long as these steps are taken into consideration in the communication process, the communications established over time will be healthier and both parties will be better attuned to each other. Making these steps permanent may not be easy and takes time. Trying to maintain them instead of thinking that it doesn’t work after one or two tries gives better results over time. However, sometimes it can be very challenging to try alone. In this case, it is best to seek expert support.

Source: Burns, D. (2019). Feeling good together: The secret to fixing troubled relationships. Uğur S. and Ada S. (Trans.). Istanbul: Psychonet Publications

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