Often times, the reason for failed relationships between friends, family, and couples is a lack of effective communication. As human beings, we are hardwired to to express our feelings. Unfortunately, if we express our feeling through improper communication, it can lead to discord. Fortunately, there are ways you can communicate your feelings more effectively.
Believe in Your Feelings
When you communicate your feelings, you may have a tendency to act apologetic. If you are expressing feelings that you believe are legitimate, do not apologize. Apologizing tells the other party that your feelings do not hold weight. If you do not believe your feelings are legitimate, you are not going to be able to communicate them comfortable.
If you lack comfort and conviction in the way you express your feelings, it tends to create barriers. How is anyone else supposed to find importance in your feeling if you cannot do the same? If you wish to communicate your feelings more effectively, believe in them. You cannot help but to feel a certain way, so there is no need to apologize.
Identify Your Feelings
When emotions rise to the surface, it can be hard to pinpoint exactly how you are feeling. In fact, you may feel a range of emotions that make identifying your feeling impossible. You may say that you feel angry when what you really feel is sadness. If you cannot properly identify your feelings, it can impact your ability to communicate effectively.
Be descriptive when trying to communicate how you feel. If you are experiencing negative feelings, do not simply say that you feel bad. Instead, take the time to identify your feelings more thoroughly by understanding their source. What caused you to feel the way you do? Once you figure that out, it will be easier to identify and communicate exactly how you feel.
Sort Through Your Feelings
Before you attempt to communicate your feelings more effectively, you should sort through you you feel. That means taking time to yourself. Find a nice, quiet place that allow you some alone time with just you and the feeling rolling around inside of your head. The problem with effective communication is that we tend to jump the gun.
Rather than taking the time to sort through feelings you may jump the gun. For instance, if you get upset, take the time to identify that feeling and calm down. If you do not, you may react too quickly, which can lead to communication issues. If you come off too emotional in the way you communicate, your words may not be received well by the other person.
Use “I” When Discussing Feelings
If you truly wish to communicate your feelings more effectively, avoid using the word you. For example, do not say, “You make me feel sad.” When you use the word you, the statements you make sound accusatory, which can lead to a breakdown in effective communication. Instead, try saying, “I feel sad.”
When you use statements like that, the person listening feels a sense of empathy and wants to listen to you. Therefore, it opens lines for clear and effective communication. Accusatory sounding statements will close those lines and make it harder for you to express your feelings. Simply changing your approach allows you to communicate your feelings successfully.
Sometimes people need help when it comes to communication skills. If you find that you still cannot communicate your feelings more effectively despite the tips above, talk to a therapist. A therapist can help you identify why it is you are having difficulties communicating. Often times, a therapist can help you open the lines of communication in a healthy, positive, and effective way.
Monica Ramunda is a solution-focused therapist with an office located in Louisville, Colorado for in-office visits. With a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology and more than 16 years experience in therapy and counseling, Monica works as both a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Registered Play Therapist (RPT) with adults and children respectively. Much of Monica’s success is based on her eclectic orientation and drawing on a wide range of different approaches and techniques all while remaining strongly grounded in the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Techniques (CBT).