3 simple ways to get along better with friends and family

It seems more difficult than ever to get along with our friends and family with the biggest culprit being lack of effective communication. Whether it be one person not speaking up when hurt and just letting it fester until explosion or simply ghosting their way out of your life because they don’t know how to express themselves.

Recently, I’ve had some friends tell me that they wish they could openly communicate as I do; which was a surprise to me since I thought everyone was capable of doing the same thing. But it turns out most communication is perceived as conflict and many shy away. So I thought I’d share 3 simple things I do to better communicate with my friends and family to create healthier, long-lasting bonds where grudges have no place to live.

Stop texting!

I believe texting is the biggest negative in all of our lives and as I tell my friends and family, it’s the easiest way to be completely misunderstood. Sure, texting is convenient if you’re running late or just want to say I’m thinking of you, but it’s no place to have conversation. From dating through texting to full-blown arguments over text, it’s an awful and somewhat lazy place to communicate. Remember when we actually had to pick up the phone when we wanted to talk to someone? Yes, I know, you don’t have time for long conversations, then just say that. Call your friend or family member and say I only have a couple of minutes, but I wanted to hear your voice, tell you that I love you and I’m looking forward to getting together next week, or whatever you might way to say. Or better yet, meet with them and talk in person about whatever might be on your mind. Stop typing into your cellular phone.

Be honest.

We don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but not being honest with friends and family is hurting them and ourselves in many ways. Simply, if you can’t be honest with people you care about, you may want to reevaluate the relationship as a whole. Being honest with those whom you love about how you’re feeling will and should be appreciated. Even if it’s the end of a relationship, walk away with your head high knowing that you said everything from your heart with the hope of getting the same respect and care back. I’ll be honest you with, no pun intended, I picked up the phone and was extremely honest about my feelings with a family member a couple of years ago, was told that I was understood, but ultimately was not, and even after numerous efforts on my part, the relationship fractured and for me will never be the same. But I look at this as life lesson, one in which could have been a lot worse if I hadn’t spoken up and now I know exactly where we stand.

Stay calm and be patient.

It’s true, staying calm is a superpower! Whether it be in a traffic jam when you’re running late or when having a deep meaningful conversation with someone about your feelings, or theirs. It’s important to be patient and allow others to speak their truth, give them their time to express themselves and respond in a calm manner, otherwise the communication will lead to raised voices, arguments and potentially the end of the relationship. Set the tone for these conversations away from others and distractions, show how much you care just be creating a calm space to talk and be together.

As with everything in life, time will tell where each and every relationship will lead, but always try to do your best with these three simple ways to better communicate today.

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