Do you want to improve your relationship with your family or friends? Did you know that communication and listening skills are the most determining factors of any successful relationship? Most communication between individuals involves listening, unfortunately, not everyone effectively listens to the message being communicated leading to misunderstandings, arguments, or severed relationships. When we practice mindfulness, we can concentrate and become active, empathetic and compassionate listeners.
Like any behavior, effective listening can be learned with practice. Before starting a conversation with a person, make it a priority to give them your full attention. Consider what knowledge or insight you can gain from this conversation. Actively listen by being attentive, engaged, and open-minded to their concerns. Being empathetic to their experiences helps you better understand their point of view. Ask yourself, “How would you react in their situation?” Perspective is everything! Make sure your interpretation of the message is accurate before judging or making a comment. During a disagreement, make sure not to react based on your emotions being triggered. Many relationships are negatively affected by words being communicated out of anger or jealousy. During a heated argument, be the bigger person and remove yourself from the situation to refocus and calm down.
When communicating with a child, learn to be patient and not interrupt. Be respectful of your child’s feelings by allowing them to fully express how they feel and what problems they are facing. Most children have trouble regulating their emotions and tend to breakdown when they can’t solve a problem. It’s extremely important that parents make themselves available, listen carefully, give advice when needed and try to understand their child’s perspective of the situation. Remember, “put yourself in their shoes”. Doing these things can greatly improve the communication between you and your child leading to a stronger relationship.
For more information on the services provided by TCP Marriage & Family Service, call our office at (210) 516-2607 or visit our website at