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Self Expression: Promoting Constructive Communication

Communication is 10% information and 90% emotion.

Good communication is more than just sending a message, it’s like a game of catch.  Communication involves making sure that the message you send, is the message received; and that the message you receive is the message that was sent. Easier said than done. Effective communication occurs when your actions and words match. If they don’t, then the sender or receiver is responsible for offering clarity or asking for it. This requires an awareness of your feelings, words, body language, and how you communicate them to others. People often say the same things over and over because they don’t feel their emotions have been heard. It’s easy for a listener to jump over feelings and give advice, share facts, or try to minimize the problem rather than really hear what’s being said. When you refuse to hear someone else’s feelings, you are telling that person: “Your feelings are not okay. You have no right to feel that way.” When you verbally attack the other person, they escalate by defending themselves and counterattacking. Because your discussion is about a topic completely unrelated to your honest emotional need, your conversations cannot lead to a solution. The arguments seem empty and endless because they are missing the point. If you are not heard, you cannot communicate your needs. It is understandable, then, that you feel frustrated or worse when you do not feel heard and are cut off with a “That’s ridiculous!” without even trying to be understood. It is crucial to comprehend problems before attempting to solve them. Surprisingly, most people are satisfied when their feelings are heard and often there is no need to come up with a solution to the problem. Usually, people just want the opportunity to express themselves and feel as if they have really been understood.

Self Expression: Promoting Constructive Communication

Aaron Karmin

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APA Reference
Karmin, A. (2019). Self Expression: Promoting Constructive Communication. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 27, 2020, from


Last updated: 24 Sep 2019
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