“Take advantage of every opportunity to practice your communication skills so that when important occasions arise, you will have the gift, the style, the sharpness, the clarity, and the emotions to affect other people.” – Jim Rohn
The holiday season is often a time where we are around family members we may not see that often, or that we don’t always get along with.
The dreaded family reunion doesn’t have to be such a burden however if we have ways to communicate effectively that can help us improve relationships.
The practice of mindfulness can be an essential tool for improving relationships. This may be a marriage, professional relationship, or with parent and child relationship.
Mindfulness can help us attend and concentrate more readily on the way we project and express ourselves.
It can also help us diffuse the thoughts and feelings that can lead to unhealthy interactions so we can respond more effectively instead of reacting hastily.
Let’s take a look at how mindfulness can help us communicate more intentional, sensitively, and respectfully.
Communicate with positivity
Have you ever noticed that when someone tells you something positive it can much more motivating than hearing all the negatives. It is much more effective to focus upon what we want to see, as opposed to highlighting actions that are off target.
As every parent knows, what you pay attention to is likely to occur more frequently! So learn to focus upon solutions and skills instead of problems and deficits. Express what you appreciate about others and use this as the foundation of connecting with them.
Communicate with sensitivity
It’s easy to forget that every person have distinct beliefs, values, and opinions. We get caught up in our own views and can forget to be sensitive to the differences of others. Be aware that sometimes differences exist with regard to communication styles.
If you’re someone who likes to joke around be aware of the response you get from others. If you tend to be very open be conscious of how your candor is effecting others. Mindfulness is not only about our person but is related to how others perceive us and how we relate to them.
Communicating respectfully means considering the point of view of others, especially when there is a difference of opinion. Being respectful is recognizing that every person has a unique frame of reference that is brought to the interaction.
Respectful communication is supported by your willingness to understand the opinions and perceptions of others, without the need to be “right” or to be judgmental. Practice putting yourself is the other person’s shoes and focusing on trying to understand where they are coming from.
These are just a few suggestions to help you communicate more intentionally as you connect with your family during the holiday and beyond.
Be mindful that you communicate with positivity, sensitivity, and respect and you will find that your relationships improve in the process.