Healthy Communication


Below are some things to do and things to avoid when trying to work through a problem in
 a relationship. If your friend is having a hard time with healthy communication, you can
 suggest some of these tips to try out.

Picking a good time to talk:

  • Deal with big issues as soon as possible, preferably when you're both prepared to deal with them. Make and keep an appointment to talk if necessary.
  • Avoid bringing up issue at time embarrassing to your partner, which could be in front of friends, family or co-workers.
  • Deal with issues as they arise and try to let go of anger generated by trivial issues.
  • If the disagreement isn't resolved right away, make an appointment to finish it later. The amount of time needed to process thoughts and emotions may vary from person to person.

Communicating with your partner/friend/co-worker, etc.:

  • Know what you're arguing about. Be specific, limited and direct with your complaint. Try to resolve one issue before moving on to another.
  • Try to use "I" statements.
  • Don’t assume your partner knows what you are thinking or feeling; communicate your feelings to them. Likewise, don't assume you know how they are feeling or thinking, and instead ask them.
  • Be an active listener - express back to your partner what you understand his/her thoughts and feelings are.
  • Stay in the present; use current examples of behaviors that are upsetting you.
  • Avoid generalizing and exaggerating. For example statements like, "You never..." or "I'm always..."
  • Avoid giving ultimatums or making idle threats
  • Count to 10, or more if you're feeling attacked. Try not to take your partner's anger personally.
  • Be willing to compromise-express your interest in coming to a solution, which is satisfactory for both of you.
  • Discuss each other's perceptions. Try to put yourself in their shoes to understand why they might view things differently.