Communicating can be hard, but it’s the foundation of any healthy, stable, and functional relationship. Without good communication, your relationships are likely to be complicated and more stressful than they need to be. So, here are some tips on how to be an excellent communicator.

Ask for 100% of what you want:

Now we were all taught as children that we don’t always get what we want, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t ask for it. Asking for what you want is the second step in getting what you want. The first step is knowing what you want. You are unlikely to get that raise if you don’t ask for it, your relationship will not open itself, you have to ask for it, your partner is probably not going to know that you want to try that new thing in bed unless she’s a mind reader. Spoiler: she isn’t. You may not get everything you ask for but you will likely get more than you would if you had asked for nothing. And who knows, every now and again you might be surprised by getting it all.

Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say:

We all want to get our point across effectively but sometimes we just don’t know how to say it, or maybe we know how to say it a little too well and end up hurting the person we care about. It can feel so good to let our words fly in the middle of an argument but if we are not careful, then there is a good chance that someone will walk away with hurt feelings. Honesty without tact is cruelty. Thoughts and emotions held in are likely to come out in the wrong ways at the wrong time. So, make a habit of discussing your emotions and enforcing boundaries regularly. You don’t want to tell your husband he’s terrible in bed after the third unsuccessful love-making session. Instead, you will want to suggest maybe trying new things and state clearly that the old stuff isn’t working for you anymore.

Be Direct:

But also try not to place blame. Blaming the other party is likely to make them feel attacked and insults are likely to fall on deaf ears. The most effective way to get your point across is to be direct, but kind. Say what you mean in a way that your audience will really receive the information that you’re trying to convey. It may feel a little less satisfying than flinging insults but the goal of communication should be for the betterment of the people involved.

Compromising vs Collaborating:

Compromising in relationships is good but collaborating is better. Collaborating with your teammate can ensure that you both get all of what you want instead of you both giving up a little. Compromise involves sacrificing which can easily lead to resentment. So get creative, find new ways of doing things that will work for both of you.

Timing:

When you say something is just as important as how you say it. Timing can be everything. It is okay to ask people if they are in the right head space to have a serious conversation. You don’t want to overwhelm someone who may already be having a bad day.

Practice:

Communication is a skill just like any other, which means you may not naturally be good at it. But, it also means that it can be learned and you can improve. Learning new things takes practice so be patient with yourself. Take every possible opportunity to practice using good communication by initiating conversations with those around you. Get familiar with uncomfortable situations, they are unavoidable and there will be many of them as you learn to negotiate for what you need.

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