All billing questions please call 330-758-4862 ext 117. Ashley Grope Medsys

Text or Call : (234) 600-8200

  • COMMUNICATION: QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS

    Communication, communication, communication. The secret to any relationship, the top desired trait looked for on a resume, something we always wish we had more of. Read on for some quick and dirty communication tips from a sex and couples counselor. 

    1. DON’T use the word “you”.  As humans, whenever our brains hear the word “you”, especially at the beginning of a sentence, our ears hear blame. “You need to clean more”.  “You never listen to me”. “You don’t care about me”.  Try not to begin sentences with you, and bonus points if you can keep it out of the sentence entirely. 
    2. DO use an “I feel” statement. Instead, we want to use an “I feel” statement when communicating, which looks like this: “I feel (emotion) because…”  Using an I feel statement helps you to explain how you feel without blaming the other person, and it creates a sense of vulnerability that creates conversation rather than escaping the situation. For example, “I feel hurt because I feel like I’m not listened to”. Pitfalls of this communication technique can be forgetting to put an emotion word after the I feel — feeling and thinking are two different things — and accidentally using the word you somewhere later in the sentence — “I feel upset because you never listen to me and you don’t help me with anything and…”, which isn’t constructive. 
    3. DON’T use the word “why”. Similar to the word you, why sounds like blame. “Why didn’t you clean like I asked you to?” “Why are you mad?” “Why don’t you touch me anymore?” Again, these questions escalate the situation and don’t help it. Plus you don’t really care why, do you? For instance, if the answer to why they didn’t clean was, because I felt too tired and I was too lazy, that wouldn’t make you feel any better, right? You don’t care why they didn’t, you’re more interested in how we can change things moving forward. 
    4. DO use the words “what”, “how”, etc. So we rephrase our questions. “How come you didn’t clean today?” “What’s causing you to feel angry?” “How come we don’t touch anymore?” These questions shift the blame to something external and create conversation rather than causing the other person to shut down. 
    5. DO pay attention to non-verbals and tone. You’ve probably heard that non-verbals make up most of communication, and it’s true. Our tone, our posture, what our hands are doing, our breathing rates, facial expressions — humans are smarter than we know sometimes, and we can interpret the meaning of situations pretty quickly by observing these things. Smiles usually indicate joy, but someone can definitely be smiling and not joyful. By observing the big picture and making inferences, we can guess someone’s state. We ask each other that monotonous, dreaded question each day: “How are you?” Sometimes we want to know how someone is truly, but sometimes we’re just asking it out of obligation. We know our boss is going to respond “good” even if they’re not good because that’s what we’re supposed to do, but you observe the non-verbals of their response to determine what kind of day you’re going to have at work because of their mood. Also, keep in mind the importance of tone — the difference often between assertive and passive aggressive communication can sometimes just be tone (i.e., “Good for you”). 

    Well there are your quick and dirty communication tips. Practice makes progress, so maybe pick one or two of these to incorporate into your daily communication routine. Have a nice Mindful Monday!

    Kristyn Macala, MSEd, LPCC, CCTP, CSOTP
    The Trauma Therapy Company
    (P) 330.397.9878
    (E) kmacala@traumatherapycompany.com
    (W) https://traumatherapycompany.com/
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