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5 Most Important Communication Strategies For Any Relationship

5 Most Important Communication Strategies For Any Relationship

Communication is the cornerstone in any relationship. It is a foundation of utmost importance and is something that often needs to be learned, polished and practiced over time. Fortunately, there are basic strategies that can be used in any relationship to help improve connections and head off devastation before it starts. Effective communication in relationships only help strengthen bonds between fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, life partners, spouses and friends.

You Don’t Need To Be Right

We think if we can get the other person to see our point of view and agree with us, then we will be happy and our relationship will be what we’ve always wished it to be: heaven on earth, right? Well, not exactly. The key is to be able to have an exchange of ideas and words that will be heard, understood, and reciprocated between two people. We think if we simply repeat ourselves or tell the other person what we need from him or her with a little more vigor, then he or she will finally get it.

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Being Indirect Never Works

Some of us use more subtle hints, like passive aggressive behaviors to get the other person to listen and understand us. I once remember counseling a lady who said, “I was hoping my husband would read my journal I left it open on the bed, so he would know how I feel.” She could not bring herself to tell him directly in an open, honest communication session what she needed from him and in turn learn what he needed from her. It may be a little frightening at first, but with time and practice, two people can learn to use these strategies with little effort. Let’s take a look at some ways you can help your relationship succeed.

The 5 Strategies:

Listen to what your partner is saying: How often is it when you are in the midst of a conversation with your partner, that instead of listening to him or her, you are thinking of a rebuttal. There is nothing more frustrating than talking with someone about an important topic and he or she is busy playing with nails, looking around the room (or worse at the TV), or appear to be daydreaming. Use body language such as leaning in to listen, making eye contact, and nodding. Of course, really being interested in what they have to say could be of some importance, don’t you agree?

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Refrain from using blame statements. This may take practice. How often is it that when you are in the heat of anger you put your foot in your mouth and wish you could take your words back. Often your statements can come across as accusatory simply because you say things like, “You always” or “You don’t.” Instead, try saying something like “I feel important to you when you spend time with me doing…” These statements help to quell arguments and open up lines of communication.

It is important to calm down (sometimes in isolation) before talking about issues. Some of us like to nip things in the bud right away. I understand, but it can do more harm than good if you jump into a discussion about your needs while in the midst of anger. If you feel you must leave the situation to calm down, try and tell your partner that is why you are leaving, and the issue will be discussed at a later time.

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Choose an appropriate time and place to discuss your concerns. There’s nothing like talking about sexual issues just before or after sex to spoil the mood; wouldn’t you agree? Try setting a neutral time and place (not the bedroom) to discuss issues of any kind, especially sex. For non-romantic relationships, this works also. For example, don’t try and discuss a problem before a family outing or get together. This will only serve to reinforce your disdain for family functions. Setting an appropriate time and place to discuss issues in any relationship is vital in order to prevent negative associations with what should be joyous occasions.

Ask questions and be attentive. This will allow your partner to feel you are attempting to find a solution and you sincerely care for him or her. A good rule of thumb is to ask questions such as, “What do you need from me in order to feel important in this relationship?”

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I hope you find these communication strategies helpful in your relationships and remember practice makes perfect!

Featured photo credit: Relationships/Morgue via mrg.bz

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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