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5 Types Of Communication That Determine Your Relationships

5 Types Of Communication That Determine Your Relationships

There are 5 types of communication needed to start and continue a relationship: optical, auditory, emotional, nonverbal, and verbal. From the time you see someone to the time you speak to someone, seconds of communication have already happened.

Communication, in the simplest form, is sending out a message and receiving it. Messages sent out take place in several different ways. Once you understand and learn to apply all 5 of these types of communication, you will be a master at getting and keeping solid personal and professional relationships.

1. Optical

Optical communication is “seeing” someone, having your sights set on someone, and noticing the existence of someone. The moment your peepers see another person and their peepers see you, the optical type of communication begins.

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You see what they look like, what they are wearing, the hairdo, the facial expression, their body position, their body type, and instantly have thoughts like, “I like what I see,” or “I will look elsewhere.” If you like what you see and the other person likes what they see, then another decision as to “the next step” takes place. You or the other person will find a way to get closer and begin the second type of communication.

2. Auditory

Auditory communication is (in my opinion) the most important of all 5 types. This is the listening communication.

Wait, you mean to say that listening is communicating? I thought speaking is communicating?

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Well, let me answer this question with asking you this: have you ever said something like “my dog just died,” and the other person replied with “that’s nice”? Why would anyone say it is nice that your dog died? Because they were not listening, they were not tuned in, and they were not interested. How did that make you feel? Do you think you would have gotten a better response had the person been “tuned in” and listened to what you said? You bet the response would have been more appropriate—this emphasizes the need for listening. When you are tuned in and listen to the other person, you are more likely to pick up on another type of communication: emotional.

3. Emotional

Emotional communication is so important to all aspects of beginning and moving forward in a relationship, so much so that Facebook finally caught up with the 5 additional reaction emojis to its “Like” button. These buttons allow a person to “react with emotion” to a post with more than just “like.” They can now express love, laughter, anger, sadness, and amazement.

Why is it so important for Facebook to make this change to their “Like” button? For the same reason that I mentioned before with the example of the dog. The person in that example said “that’s nice,” and you were no doubt hurt that they reacted in a way that demonstrated inattentiveness and not listening. With these 5 emojis, people can react emotionally and more appropriately to messages that are posted. Now, when you post that your dog died, rather than receiving “likes,” you’ll get the “sad emoji,” letting you know that others care.

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Can you see that emotional communication really matters in a relationship? Whether it be a personal or professional relationship, an appropriate response will more likely keep that relationship moving forward.

4. Non-Verbal

Non-verbal communication includes tone of voice, pauses, rate of speech, facial expressions, body positions (i.e. crossed arms)—even walking away is a type of non-verbal communication. If you are speaking to someone and they smile, you will likely feel affirmed and that things are going well. If someone frowns in reaction to what you said, you get the message that someone disagrees with what you said. Non-verbal cues impact the understanding of what spoken and unspoken communication is taking place between people in a relationship.

5. Verbal

Verbal communication is using language in the form of sentences, phrases, and dialogue—but everyone already knows this, right?

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In reality, it is much more than that. The words spoken can be misunderstood. However, there is a way to keep your words from being misunderstood. Speak and watch for clues of acceptance. If you are really attentive, you can use words in your sentences, phrases, and dialogues that resonate more positively with the other person and will lead to a positive communication experience. A positive communication experience will lead to more positive experiences. This means more enjoyable interactions that will help to maintain the relationship and keep it moving forward.

By now, you have a more holistic approach to communicating in a relationship. Here is a hint: speak to the other person with expressions and be watchful for clues in the way the other person looks, listens, and reacts to you. Also, after reading this article, you have a better understanding of what to do to start and stay in a relationship—and so will your partner after you share this article with them!

Featured photo credit: Angelo González via imcreator.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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