21 Dec. 2020

How to communicate better and care for relationships with people? Part I

Relationships with people can be very rewarding for us, but sometimes challenging. Interacting with others allows us to meet many of our needs, such as love, acceptance, support, and care. At the same time, sometimes a single conflict can lead people to cut off contact entirely. Many misunderstandings result from communication problems – often, what we try to convey is understood differently by the other person. Similarly, it is often difficult for us to understand what our loved ones and colleagues feel and need. Effective communication with others involves a set of skills that none of us are born with. Like many skills, the way we talk to others and how we build relationships with people is largely acquired during upbringing, in contact with parents, other adults, and peers. Fortunately, communication and relationship-building skills can be acquired and developed throughout life. This will increase our chances of establishing satisfying relationships, take care of our connections, and improve everyday contacts with people. We will allow ourselves and others to effectively and safely meet the needs of each party – our interpersonal effectiveness will increase (a concept particularly developed in dialectical behavior therapy).

If we want to start developing our skills, we need to remember a few important elements.

Mindful Attention – maintaining a relationship requires noticing the feelings and reactions of the other person and observing the process that takes place between us and the other person.

Interpersonal Patterns such as aggressive or passive ones have a strong impact on the relationships that connect us with others. Passive behavior may seem safe, but in the long run, it brings many costs. An aggressive communication style often results from the belief that other people should behave in a certain way, and things should unfold as we expect.

Balance between my needs and the other party – each relationship consists of two people who try to meet their needs. It is worth recognizing what we want, communicate it clearly, and notice what the other party desires. The ability to negotiate and find compromises is valuable.

Starting to learn interpersonal skills, keep the above elements in mind, as these are areas where we will be able to recognize various obstacles in effective communication.
If you are looking for help from a specialist in developing communication skills, take advantage of the help of a psychologist or psychotherapist. Feel free to seek assistance in our cognitive-behavioral therapy offices in Krakow.

Reading: Matthew McKay, Jeffrey C. Wood, Jeffrey Brantley. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). Practical exercises developing mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and stress resilience.

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