Communication in a Relationship #FamilyLife

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Communication in a Relationship

Communication is a vital part of our lives: a typical day involves many interactions between ourselves, our work colleagues and clients, our children, our friends, our ex's, future relationships, etc. This interaction takes place where we live, work, relax, socialize and wherever we perform routine tasks.

Communication skills are critical for building healthy relationships, especially when one realizes that one of the most common causes of relational breakdown is a lack of communication. Just as communication can be the most important part of a relationship; arguments can be the most destructive aspect - the closer we are to someone, the more easily we can bruise or be bruised. There is very little truth in the saying: "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never harm me." It's not what we say, but rather how we say it, that most often hurts another person.
Do you identify with any of these statements?
"He never listens to me when I talk!"
"She talks and talks, but never actually says anything!"
"It's like talking to a brick wall"
"I can't get through to you"
"We can't talk about anything important without getting into a fight"
"She's too emotional - she's either crying or shouting or complaining. It's easier to avoid her"
"He always gets defensive when I try to talk about issues"

Communication is a complex process; of which speaking only makes up for 10-20%. The other 80-90% is made up by facial expressions, body language, tone of voice, etc.

Communication is the art/ science of transferring a thought/ idea/ information from the mind of one complex human being to the mind of one or more complex human being(s). For communication to be effective, it must be a two-way process.

A) Dynamics of Interpersonal Communication

1. Facts: are both people communicating about the same set of facts? Try to separate the facts from thoughts or feelings.

2. Interpretations, Thoughts or Perceptions: Each person interprets a fact differently based on their belief system, personality, values and experience.

3. Feelings: how we are feeling, our current mood and frame of mind, etc can sub-consciously affect decisions and thoughts.

4. Intentions, Needs or Wants: hidden agendas; are we looking for comfort, clarification, information or simply a chance to interact? We judge ourselves on our intentions.

5. Actions: choice of words (is the intent to create harm?) + tone of voice + non-verbal speech = body language, posture, eye contact, facial expressions, etc.
"The medium is the message" => the way the message is delivered is the message itself.

6. Self: The communication center, which includes the issue, topic or conflict at hand, has been "filtered" by the facts, interpretations, thoughts, feelings, intentions, and choices of behavior / actions.

B) Listening and Feedback

Did I say what I meant to say? - Invite feedback to clarify communication.

Someone who's not listening lets their mind drift and is already preparing the next argument or opposing thought; inaccurate feedback or limited eye contact.

Listening is an active, not a passive process. When two people argue, they only hear "what they want to hear", not what's actually said. This equates to the accusation of "not listening". Most couples start arguing and within 5 minutes are arguing about the way they are arguing.

Don't argue when you're angry - you will not be able to listen objectively. Give yourself time to cool down and then broach the subject when you are in a more reasonable frame of mind.

It's important to give feedback - checking and confirming. Did I understand you correctly? Is this what you mean? I heard you say this: am I right? Feedback can be verbal / non-verbal e.g. a nod, smile, silence or a cold shoulder. No feedback is in itself a form of feedback.

If the words and actions contradict each other, it is better to believe the actions!

C) Conflict Resolution

Conflict resolution can either be Constructive or Destructive.
Destructive Style - hinders or inhibits the conflict resolution process:
Confrontational (win or lose, blaming)
Sabotage (focus on weak points, shaming)
Manipulation (blackmail, withdrawal)
Giving in (passive, submissive)
Avoidance (denial, withdrawal)

Constructive Style - trying to minimize the issues and avoiding the difficulties in resolving the problems:
Compromise (meet halfway, understanding)
Accommodate (open discussion, communication without confrontation)
Partnership (solutions, forgiveness, honesty)

When trying to resolve conflicts, try to clarify your goals, as you will probably share many of the same goals despite of your differences. Avoid bargaining, as this may lead to each party taking a rigid position which in turn can flare tempers.

When resolving conflicts, remember that their causes may run deep. Sweeping issues under the carpet isn’t going to work in the long term, as old baggage will be brought up each time an argument starts. Try to fully resolve each issue as it comes along. You may find the following method useful:

1. Ask the other person for their feelings. Your conflict probably isn’t about the issue that caused it to start in the first place. Don’t forget that your goal is sorting out the problem, not winning an argument!

2. Ask the other person to define the problem. Stick to solving one problem at a time, that way you can understand each problem as the other person sees it.

3. Express your own feelings. Be careful to word them carefully, for example use phrases such as: I feel, rather than, I think you…

4. Define the problem as you see it. As your feelings come out, the solution may become clearer. Remember that by you listening to the other person; you will have set the tone for them to listen to you.

5. Create multiple solutions. Don’t go back to your original agenda. Aim to find alternative or creative solutions that reduce emotions and tension.

6. Rate the possible solutions. Remember that no one can force an unacceptable solution on the other.

7. Combine and create a mutually acceptable solution. Create something acceptable to both parties, if this doesn’t work, go back to step 1 and ensure both parties are being totally honest.

8. Be sure both parties agree to work towards resolving the issue.

Troubleshooting For Problems in Communication

Control or Power Issues: Effective communication cannot take place if one person has "control" over the other or where there is not mutual respect and equality of relationship. To stay in control leads to relational isolation as the underdog reacts in anger at being manipulated or belittled.

Triangulation: Do not bring in a third party to avoid direct confrontation. If you have a problem with someone, go directly to that person. Don't dump your accusations on mutual friends or your children in the hope of winning support to balance the scales in your favor - it leads to more substantial and long-lasting damage, especially when a child is used as a weapon between parents.

19 Steps to Effective Communication

1. See communication as an opportunity to praise, build-up, affirm, heal, support and give positive reinforcement, rather than to correct, criticize, tear down, hurt, wound, lash out at. Praise opens doors to further communication, while criticism shuts them down.

2. Remember that actions speak louder than words; non-verbal communication usually is more powerful than verbal communication. Avoid double messages in which the verbal and the non-verbal messages convey something contradictory. (Credibility gap)

3. Define what is important and stress it; define what is unimportant and de-emphasize or ignore it. Avoid fault-finding.

4. Communicate in ways that show respect for the other person’s worth as a human being. Avoid statements which begin with the words: You never or I think you…

5. Be clear and specific in your communication. Avoid vagueness.

6. Be realistic and reasonable in your statements. Avoid exaggeration and sentences which begin with, You always …

7. Test all your assumptions verbally by asking if they are accurate. Avoid acting until this is done.

8. Recognize that each event can be seen from different points of view. Avoid assuming that other people see things like you do. (Perception)

9. Recognize that your family members and close friends are experts on you and your behavior. Avoid the tendency to deny their observations about you, especially if you are not sure.

10. Recognize that disagreement can be a meaningful form of communication. Avoid destructive arguments.

11. Be honest and open about your feelings and viewpoints. Bring up all significant problems even if you are afraid that doing so will disturb another person. Speak the truth in love. Avoid sullen silences.

12. Do not put down and/or manipulate the other person with tactics such as ridicule, interrupting, name-calling, changing the subject, blaming, bugging, sarcasm, criticism, pouting, guilt-inducing, etc. Avoid the one-upmanship game.

13. Be more concerned about how your communication affects others than about what you intended. Avoid getting bitter if you are misunderstood.

14. Accept all feelings and try to understand why others feel and act as they do. Avoid the tendency to say, “you shouldn’t feel like that.”

15. Be tactful considerate and courteous. Avoid taking advantage of the other person’s feelings.

16. Ask questions and listen carefully. Avoid preaching or lecturing.

17. Do not use excuses. Avoid falling for the excuses of others.

18. Speak kindly politely and softly. Avoid nagging yelling or whining.

19. Recognize the value of humor and seriousness. Avoid destructive teasing.

Summary

As you look ahead to new relationships, you need to be able to break old and faulty communication patterns to allow for healthier interaction. The use of praise and positive reinforcement will reconstruct wounded and broken self-images and will build self-esteem, particularly in children. By becoming an effective communicator, you will also grow and become a better person which will positively enhance all your relationships.




Source: Michael Brady

The World's Growing Population #FamilyLife

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population world map, world population, citizen, people, poverty, health, wealth, family

Photo Source: population world map by upyernoz, on Flickr

Resource: sburke: THE WORLD'S GROWING POPULATION


The world’s growing population

The world’s population has reached a staggering 7 billion people and despite people having children later, is set to continue growing. While, many families are choosing to have fewer children vastly influenced by different lifestyle choices there are others which value large families.

Recent coverage of the infamous Duggar Family created mixed opinions about raising what appeared to be an absurdly abnormal sized family – at least amongst western standards. With19 children – and another on the way – they are an American family sharing their lives on their own reality TV show “19 Kids and Counting.”

As the Duggars have stepped into the spotlight, their family has been the topic of much conversation and the starting point for banter about the world population and how many children a family should ideally have.

Opinions on these topics are far ranging, with many people believing that the world’s population is growing too quickly to be sustainable given the resources that are currently available. Ultimately though, deciding how big or small you want your family to be is a decision between you and your partner, and should be one that you feel comfortable with.
Both large and small families face different sorts of challenges, and no matter how many children families plan on having, each situation is unique. There is no right or wrong answer, and a lifestyle choice which works for one family may not work for others.

In today’s day and age, while some families like the Duggars are choosing to have more children, others are choosing to have less. Factors that influence these decisions can range from financial & building successful careers to simply choosing to start a family later in life..

Results from recent reward surveys have reiterated that particular opinion. Whilst nearly half of the respondents in one survey felt that the world was running out of space, 43% believe that a family having more than 10 kids isn’t a problem, as long as the children are financially and emotionally supported. 35% of respondents to the survey believed 3 or more children were too many, however the same percentage felt that how many children a couple had should be their own preference.
As families like the Duggars continue to capture the imaginations of people all over the world, the debate about family size and world population is set to continue, with different people holding radically different views.
Sean Burke writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.

Marriage Breakdown: What Causes Them? #FamilyLife

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Marriage Breakdown: What Causes Them?

You've seen it before, a marriage breakdown. It may not have even been you, but maybe you're parents, or a friend's parents. Perhaps even a friend and their spouse. But no matter where you've seen a marriage breakdown, you will decide at that point it's something you will never hope to experience for yourself.

Though a couple who is happy a lot of the time, may have a lot easier time working through marriage breakdown problems. It's a lot harder to want to quite a relationship in which you are always happen, with little down time. Or would you more quickly give up a marriage where you were always fighting? The answer is obvious in those two questions.

If it was your parents, you may have found out many of the problems that caused the marriage breakdown. But it's pretty hard not too as your listening to them yell most of the time around you. As a child there isn't much that you can do to help out, but just sit and hope your parents will make it through these times.

Money can cause a marriage breakdown too. In the economy many people lost their jobs or had hours cut. This created many problems in couples who were use to a certain income level. NO longer was the same amount coming in so at times the other spouse would need to take on another job, creating a tension that wouldn't have been there before.

Sex is another huge cause of marriage breakdown. It may just be because one of the partners is not feeling as amorous as normal. But when *** begins to lessen it's hard for either spouse to feel that it's caused by anything besides a lack of interest in the specific person. Perhaps a problem that shouldn't be that difficult to figure out, but with the hurt feelings it becomes a much bigger problem.

Perhaps when we begin to notice marriage breakdown it should be the point where you step up to your spouse and talk. Communication is such a huge part of any relationship, if you have this tool, you can work through anything. But once that communication has begun to wane you notice that marriage breakdown will occur more frequently.

Working through a problem with your loving spouse no matter what has caused it is something we all want to accomplish. But at the points in our lives that these problems happen we may not feel like fighting. That's when this marriage breakdown will end up as a divorce.

Finally, though we all know that marriage is hard work, it's still hard at times to push ourselves to work past certain problems. Cheating is one of the hardest things to overcome in marriage breakdown. It takes a very special person to be able to look past this and be willing to work with their spouse. Lack of trust will no doubt continue though.

See What Some People Do To Care For Their Happy Family Life #FamilyLife

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See What Some People Do To Care For Their Happy Family Life

Bodily touch and intimacy

Physical touching is of utmost value within the relation and is to be delighted for as long as possible. God created physical bodies with billions of contact receptors throughout the epidermis to receive love in the contact. Sleeping skin to skin creates quite pleasant rest. Consequently those going to bed in pajamas or other attire miss all amazing sensations from the stream of metaphysical energy between the two bodies. However, there is one thing necessary to enjoy bodily contact: all needs to be natural, God made. Any usage of make-ups, essences or deodorants wipes out natural scent and smell of human body and must be avoided. If one of the lovers has any epidermis troubles, which trigger bad body scent, he or she should right away take all required actions to restore natural aroma in the body. Beneficial in such case can be vegetarian diet plus more outside actions until the cause is fully gone.

Performing things together

Performing things jointly is an additional straightforward factor to achieve satisfied family living. As physical contact is essential part of romantic life, physical presence of a loving partner also provides considerable substance in daily living.

The clear positive aspects from this are:

- things are getting carried out faster and easier having a loving assistant;
- the presence of such helper is definitely motivating;
- an additional viewpoint offers even bigger chance for the best option.

Start with a thing as simple as meal preparation. This is exciting task and can deliver lots of joy for the whole family. Each cook places their own love component to the food taste. Then move ahead toward a lot more challenging tasks, like enhancements and fixes at home, where man does all weighty work, needless to say. Doing things together is applicable for the whole household and should there be small children in the family, they must be permitted to add their part, as youngsters are usually willing and happy to assist. The best scenario for all would be to have family business and home at one place.

Honeymoon vacation

All people know how important the correct treatment for all equipment is. Happy living also needs routine maintenance - honeymoon. It is appropriate specifically for all occupied city people, working in nerve racking and contaminated environment, away from nature. Honeymoon vacation is a great instrument for rejuvenating and re-building happy life and it is proposed to be used frequently. Dependent on the budget and tastes, honeymoon location could be spectacular isle, remote location in the wild or any place in the nature. The location has to be one thing two lovers fully agree with, but to have true sweet-love time it should be far from crowds and advertised tourist attractions. Before starting your honeymoon, be sure that you have cared for all possible distractions: put away watches, cell phones, notebooks or other gadgets; forget about engagements and agendas; forget TV and magazines. Then it is time for dancing, singing, playing, offering nice massage, taking pleasure in everything you could have skipped previously.

In addition, honeymoon is the correct time to clear up all unsaid or concealed in the past, when there is such between two partners. Set a common and truthful goal in life and commit to each other to make it happen side by side in bad and good periods. Naturally, the very best honeymoon vacation would be when it is combined with spiritual retreat to speed up your spiritual advancement, simply because God ought to be part of your life. Happy life is just beyond question without God, since God is the source of all Love and bliss.

Importance of English Fluency #FamilyLife

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Teaching English language learners

Photo resource: Teaching English language learners by The Sage Libraries, on Flickr>

Author Resource: Gain an edge and sharpen your English fluency skills. To gain more knowledge about the importance of English fluency, click here. Guthrie-Jensen Consultants is the leading Management Training and Consultancy firm across the Philippines and one of the largest in Southeast Asia. The organization has conducted various training programs and seminars in Asia, Europe, and North America. Visit Article Online Directory


Importance of English Fluency

The English language is considered to be the global language for communication. In the corporate world, professionals also prefer to use the English language regardless of their profession or industry. The need to communicate fluently and confidently in English has become a must in the work place.

Professionals need to feel confident in using the English language. Professionals who are fluent in using the English language have a great advantage. They are able to project credibility more easily, they can produce more results efficiently, and they are able to communicate with clients or co workers clearly and effectively. Being fluent in English can also help you sell and express your thoughts and ideas, it can also help in persuading and convincing people.

But, what exactly is the point of having to speak in English? Here are some important matters that need to be considered on why speaking in English is important:

Communicate Effectively: Communication is very important in the business environment. The lack of communication creates barriers and misunderstandings in the work place. Having to communicate effectively can get the tasks or right messages delivered without misunderstandings. By having good and fluent English skills, you will be able to communicate and understand better local and foreign counterparts. You will be able to express thoughts, ideas and needs without hesitation. And, you can confidently use common English expressions in spoken English.

It widens the range of clients and market: As been said, English is the universal language. Results –producing communicators speak the right language confidently – powerful business English. The business or organization can easily communicate with different clients or prospects not only locally, but also globally. You will be more confident for different scenarios such as conversing with clients, making request, clarifying needs, giving out instructions, and socializing in different business events or functions.

Presentation: Are you prepared to do a presentation in a large crowd with a different tone for language? Using proper speech and having good English skills can do a lot in business and corporate presentations. However, if you are not confident enough in your English skills, it is most likely that you make a lot of mistakes and lose the attention of your audience. It is important that you practice your verbal skills to be more effective in giving out different presentations and speech.

A workforce that is able to converse and communicate in English well means more satisfied clients. It also means more contracts coming in and more opportunities for growth and development.

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