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Effective Communication

These tips are about effective communication, which is more than just talking! It's about listening and being thoughtful too. Improving your communication has a huge impact on so many parts of your life! 

How about a resolution to communicate better this year? Improving communication can mean learning to use your voice share your feelings, being clear on your boundaries, making positive connections with others, and becoming a stronger listener.

Along with trust, respect, and boundaries, communication is an important factor that makes up a healthy relationship.

Honesty is the best policy. It's amazing how quickly little lies can lead to big ones, so keep it simple and tell the truth.

Great relationships are based on truth and trust. Take a chance on someone, let your guard down when it's safe to do so and be open and honest.

Don't be afraid to say no to things. A good friend will understand why (or ask) rather than pressuring you.

Pretending everything is alright when it isn't doesn't help anyone. If you're upset, try to put the feeling into words. Write it out if you need to!

Make it a goal to speak to others respectfully and expect the same in return. Tell people if you are offended by what they say.

Don't get caught up in trying to impress others with having the best stories or being the funniest, some of the best qualities as a conversationalist are simply being genuine and kind.

When you're having a conversation with someone make sure you're truly listening and attending to what they're saying and not just planning what you're going to say next.

Be willing to learn from everyone. A bad social experience can help shape you just as easily as a good one.

Make sure to talk about subjects the other person is interested in too! It's okay to talk about your interests for a bit, but try to engage them on their interests too.

Unless you know a person fairly well, it may be best to avoid sarcasm and jokes that may not be appropriate.

If you don't understand what someone means, don't be afraid to ask for clarification. You may as well prevent misunderstandings when you can!

Try not to jump to conclusions. It might seem like others are attacking you when they're talking, but wait and make sure before reacting negatively.

Sometimes talking face to face is better than texting, especially if you have something sensitive and important to talk about. It's easy for people to misread what you're saying, or for you to misread their response.

It is known that more than 50% of communication is non-verbal. This means it's very important to be mindful of body language, facial expressions, and other gestures.

Do you feel like you ramble and struggle to get your point accross? If you can, try writing out the main points of your conversation before you meet with the person you're wanting to speak to.

If you can, put your phone away or on silent when you're talking with someone in person. It'll help you focus and make the other person feel heard.

If you are in an argument try to think from the other person's perspective. It might help you resolve the conflict easier.

Arguing with someone is a natural part of life, that being said sometimes you need to walk away and take some deep breaths. Once you are both calm again it might be easier to work through problems.

Know who you're speaking to! Try to connect your message with what your listener cares about. This will influence how you communicate and will likely make them more receptive to your message.

Eye contact is important when having a conversation with someone, but it's good to balance it. Staring at someone without break isn't natural and can make people feel uncomortable.

Have you heard of DEAR MAN? This might come in handy the next time you are having conflict with someone.

Before you end a conversation where there was conflict resolution involved, summarize what you have agreeded upon. This will give the other person a chance to correct you if you misunderstood something.

Does your body language match what you are saying? Are you crossing your arms and legs? That can indicate you aren't interested in what the other person has to say.

Struggling to start a conversation with someone? Ask questions about them (that aren't too personal of course)! It's nice to feel like someone is interested in you and your life, and they'll likely want to return the gesture.

To get a better understanding of the other person's perspective make sure to ask open ended questions. You'll get more information this way and it'll help continue the conversation.

If you find it really difficult to say "no," start telling people you need time to think about their request. This will buy you some time to think about what you really want to do.

Everyone processes information at different speeds. Don't be afraid of silence, it can allow space for everyone to participate in the conversation.

Sometimes it's good to show a little vulnerability and be honest about feeling nervous in social situations, the other person might have some reassuring to say or you may even find out they're feeling the same way!

Try your best to speak slowly and calmly. If you find this too difficult maybe that is a sign that you need to take a break and revist the conversation later.