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  • Writer's pictureAutumn Carter

How to Improve Your Communication


Communication is more than just words. This is important to understand when someone is struggling to communicate. Sometimes that person is you and sometimes it is someone else.


Nonverbal communication can be very important when someone is struggling with their mental health. Feeling trapped and not being able to verbally communicate can be very anxiety inducing. Taking the time to understand nonverbal communication can help better understand what someone needs us to know.

Here are a few examples of each nonverbal communication:

  • Sounds- laughing, crying, grunting

  • Breaching Someone's Bubble- getting into their comfort zone, closeness

  • Body Contact: hugging, handshake

  • Facial Expressions: frown, smile, non expression

  • Eye Movements- winking, eye rolling, looking away

  • Hand Movements- moving hands while talking, giving the I don't know sign, waving

  • Head Movements- nodding, shaking head

  • Appearance- tidy, untidy

  • Posture- open, shut down

SOLER Skills

When trying to open communication with someone try using SOLER Skills

Sit squarely

Open posture

Lean forward

Eye contact

Relax

This lets the person know you care about what is on their mind, you don't have anywhere else you want to be, and they will take cues from you to relax and open up.

Most Common Communication Styles

Here are the descriptions of each communication style. It is important to know your preferred communication style, so you can improve if needed. It also helps to know which communication style is preferred by those you interact with. Here is an article about the benefits of communicating more assertively and how to to make it a habit.


Aggressive:

  • Inappropriately Honest

  • Direct

  • Expressive

  • Attacking

  • Blaming

  • Controlling

  • All About Self


Assertive:

  • Appropriately Honest

  • Direct

  • About Self and Others

  • Expressive

  • Self-Confident

  • Empathic


Passive Aggressive:

  • Emotionally Dishonest

  • Indirect

  • Self-Deny at First

  • About Self


Passive:

  • Emotionally Dishonest

  • Indirect

  • Inhibited

  • Self-Denying

  • Blaming

  • Apologetic

How to Manage Conflict

This infographic is based on the Gottman Institute's, "Six Tips for the Six Skills of Managing Conflict. It is the second step after gaining confidence in the first step.


The first step is the spend time with your partner engaging in activities that manage conflict. This is meant to be used in the beginning stages of managing conflict to start the conversation and prevent a conflict from turning into a fight.


Maintaining healthy relationships can be very difficult, but the harder we try the easier it becomes as healthy habits start to form. Do you know how well you repair your relationship? Click here to take the quiz.


If you are having a hard time trusting or being trusted, here is our blog post from last week about building trust, love languages and the four horsemen of the relationship apocalypse. Here is an article that talks about the difference between managing and resolving conflict in relationships.


We hope you have a great week and look forward to you joining our next discussion. Feel free to comment below if you want to engage in our discussions.


If you need counseling, contact 1-800-662-HELP⁠


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