When it comes to any kind of friendship, relationship, acquaintance, anything of the sort where you are not the only person involved in a conversation/event/situation, learning how to build good communication skills is key.
I understand this is a relatively cliche idea, but allow me to share some tips with you on effective communication that I have attempted in my day-to-day life. I have a degree in this, so that means I should know what I’m talking about…right?
Never Share Anything Over a Text
It drives me crazy that everyone knows this, but everyone does it anyway. If you have something important to tell someone, tell them in person. Or on the phone. Or Skype them. But don’t tell them in a text message.
Texting is the easiest way to misconstrue anything you’re trying to say. Take the following example:
“I don’t have time to see you right now.”
When you’re on the receiving end of a text that says something like that, it might automatically make you feel a little upset. Some people are more dramatic about something like this than others, but it’s easy to start a fight over simply stating you’re busy. Everybody’s busy in life, so if you’re the one getting upset about receiving a text like this, get over it.
There Are ALWAYS Three Sides
Your side, their side, and the truth.
When it comes to an argument, sure using “I feel” statements is productive, but that doesn’t let you listen to what the other person is saying. You have your side of the story, they have theirs. (This doesn’t necessarily have to be about a fight. Maybe you need to tell your significant other they have an alcohol problem and you want to stage an intervention. It’s important to hear what they have to say about everything when said intervention comes, because they have just as much of a right as you do to have an opinion.)
This also goes to hearing things through the grapevine. Contact your source, don’t beat around the bush and just listen to what other people are saying. You know it’s happened to you, why would you do it to someone else?
You Don’t Always Have to Be Right
Oh nooooo! This can’t be true! Whenever I’m in an argument I always have to win!
Well, it’s right if you want to lose people from your life over it, but if the ultimate goal is to keep them around then this is wrong.
Pride is a really huge thing amongst humanity, isn’t it? After all, it is one of the seven deadly sins. If we’re living in a world where everything is related to a “sin” and we’re supposed to be avoiding them at all costs, we’re sure doing a pretty piss-poor job letting our pride go. It seems that people think if they let their guard down and deflate their pride a little bit it shows weakness. So, so very wrong. You garner far much more respect when you admit your wrongdoings, when you apologize for offending someone, and when you have a conversation that will enable you to move forward.
We all know people like this. (I know quite a few myself.) It’s highly frustrating when you try to have a conversation with someone or settle an argument with someone or do whatever with someone who will never hear your side of the story. Again, if that happens to you, why do it to others?
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Learn From Your Mistakes
This applies in school, why not apply it in life?
If you have a conversation go sour, make a note on the ways it happened. Obviously, every person and every situation is different. Dealing with difficult people is both frustrating and challenging, but there’s always a level of tact that goes with the way we speak to each other, regardless of any animosity that’s currently present. Remember what didn’t work in previous conversations, learn from it, and don’t let it happen again.
If you don’t watch what you say during arguments, or your goal is only ever to win and never swallow your pride, I hope we never get into a disagreement because that’s annoying. We don’t need to start a war over a miscommunication, and if everyone watched how they interacted with other people, life might be a better thing to be apart of.
Surround yourself with happiness, positivity, and open communication and the opportunities of life will present themselves for you.
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