All of us, from time to time, identify things about how we behave that we would like to change. Changing our behavior is very difficult because it is the result of the many learned responses we develop as soon as we come into the world. There is even research today suggesting that conditioning that can begin even in the womb.
How we learn to adapt to our environment, what outside events or stimulation feels safe or threatening, how we view the world we live in, what our beliefs and values are, and so forth all play a role in how we learn to behave towards ourselves and others. These factors also influence how we learn to communicate.
The variations of how each of us learn to adapt around are most noticeable when we are in relationships with others. What behaviors each of us bring to a relationship determines how well, or not, we are able to work together, live together, or love together.
An example of how our conditioning impacts our relationships is seen in how couples relate to one another, and get along, before and after having children together. It is often, after the children come along, that the couple begins to have conflicts which stem from how each of the individuals was raised; what values they have, or what they believe is best for raising a healthy, or successful child.
While it is inevitable that we will have conflicts with others, because we are all uniquely different and uniquely conditioned individuals; there are easy to learn and proven communication skills that we can all apply to any of our relationships, to make them more fulfilling and positive for both ourselves and others.
A basic and simple skill, that we can all apply to communications with others, is putting aside the ongoing conversation in our minds, our concerns of the moment, or what we want to say next, and focusing completely on the individual in front of us and what they are sharing with us. Being fully present to another person shows them that you value and respect them and that you are sincerely interested in what they are feeling, thinking, and communicating with you.
We all want to be valued. And in our world of fast-paced electronic communication; having another person look at us directly while we speak, respond to us with smiles, head nodding or other gestures letting us know they are listening, without their speaking or interrupting us is a wonderfully validating experience - it’s uplifting to ourselves and the person who is generous enough to give such affirming attention.
If you would like more information on how to make your relationships more rewarding and successful through easy-to-learn, proven communication skills, you can download a free chapter from my book
. If you are a Kindle owner, you can also download a free copy at www.amazon.com
- Dr. Georgianna Donadio
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