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Last Updated on August 28, 2018

How to Communicate Effectively in Your Daily Life in 3 Simple Steps

How to Communicate Effectively in Your Daily Life in 3 Simple Steps

Talk is cheap. This saying is a tired cliche, but it’s true. Communication, on the other hand, is a hot commodity. And effective communication is just one of those things that’s “priceless” in life.

The whole point of communication is to help the person on the other side of the conversation understand just what it is you’re trying to tell them, and vice versa.

So just how do you go about learning to get your point across with optimal comprehension and minimal confusion? Here are three effective ways on how to communicate effectively with co-workers, spouses and even your children:

1. Try to use “I” statements

The best way to speak your truth effectively on a regular basis, however, is to use “I” statements. When you keep the focus of the situation on what you’re experiencing – seeing, hearing, feeling and the why behind it – people are more open to seeing things from your perspective and often offer up their own explanations as well.

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Being able to see things from the other person’s vantage point effectively reduces the risk of misunderstandings and potential arguments.

Mark Twain once said,

“Always tell the truth. That way you’ll never have to remember what you said.”

For many of us, that quote is nothing shy of brilliant as we have countless other things running through our minds at any given moment.

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2. Ask open-ended questions

Think about the quote:

“There are no stupid questions, only stupid people.”

There may in fact be no stupid questions, but some questions are more effective for getting what you want than others.

For instance, say you have a teenage daughter. One day your teen comes home from school, and you ask her how her day was. She replies with a terse “Uh, horrible,” and stalks off to her room. Your mistake, in this example, is asking close-ended questions–that is, questions that can be answered with one word.

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Open-ended questions require more than one-word answers and allow you to keep the conversation going with more open-ended questions. Next time try asking something like “So what did you talk about in history class today?”

Try this kind of communication when your children are upset as well. Use open lines of communication by letting them know you see they’re upset and you’re there for them when they are ready to talk. Then, actually listen. You can also use “I” statements to help them grasp that you’re actually trying to hear what they’re saying.

This new way of communicating with your children may take practice, but don’t give up! Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the same is true about building trusting relationships.

You just might become the first person your kids come to for advice when times get tough. That is effective communication in daily life at its finest.

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3. Say you’re sorry

Nothing breaks down communication barriers faster, or more effectively, than a heart-felt apology. Rarely is there room for pride in any type of communication, and owning up to an inadvertent wrong is one of the kindest and humblest ways to express yourself and show respect to the other person.

Speaking your truth with love and asking for forgiveness reinforces the building of trust and it tears down the defenses of the person receiving the apology. While you don’t have to say you’re sorry every day, be sure to take advantage of this tip every chance you get. After all, what goes around, comes around.

These tips are not mutually exclusive to just parents or family members. Using “I” statements, asking open-ended questions and saying you’re sorry – to name just a few ways of how to effectively communicate in your daily life – can be used with anyone at any time. Go ahead. Give it a whirl, and see what happens.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on January 18, 2019

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

1. Limit the time you spend with them.

First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

2. Speak up for yourself.

Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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5. Change the subject.

When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

7. Leave them behind.

Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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