facebook pixel How to Communicate Better with Others
Site Search
< Blog Home < Healthy Living

How to Communicate Better with Others

The greatest asset to harmony is communication. Learn how to better understand friends, family, and strangers, so you can lead a happier, more fulfilled life.

Two boys, one with a megaphone. How to communicate better.

Most people don’t list “learn to communicate better” in their New Year’s resolutions. In fact, the entire concept of communication seems vague. But if I told you there was a surefire way to strengthen your relationship with every single person you meet and it was completely free, would you go for it? Of course you would. Here’s an easily digestible overview of steps you can take today to become a better communicator.

Related: Living in the now -- being present

Nix the Phone

It’s much, much easier to say things via text, right? Tap out your concerns, add a unicorn emoji, and voila! Problem solved. Except that the more you text, the more ambiguous your communication becomes. Texting and emails are fine for basics (addresses, making appointments, etc), but we don’t communicate as a species using only words, which means most of your meaning is left out of each text you send.

A better alternative is to talk, but the best alternative is face-to-face interaction. Make a goal to stop texting, emailing, social media-ing, and messaging as much, and you’ll find you’re on your way to finding joy in communication again.

Listening

There’s a difference between listening and hearing. Sure, you can hear when someone talks to you, but do you listen to what they’re saying? Truly listening is the only way to connect with someone. There are loads of articles on how to be an active listener; if you take no other step to improve your communication skills, at least learn how to excel at listening.

Make eye contact, respond to what the other person is saying, focus, and put your phone away. You can even repeat back what the other person is saying. For instance, you can respond with, “I believe what you’re saying is that I need to do a better job at___________. Is that what you mean?” Sometimes emotion clouds the bottom line, so when your spouse is so frustrated that the conversation rambles, you can gently repeat what you’re hearing in an effort to understand better.

Watch your tone ­

Even saying the word “fine” takes on different meaning depending on how it’s said. When you want to communicate better, watch how you say things.

You’re guaranteed to get upset occasionally, but when that happens, step away from the situation and give yourself time to calm down. Return to the situation when you’re calmly able to express your feelings and propose a solution.

Related: 13 things you should tell yourself every day

Ask questions

­

If you’ve ever been on a date with a person who talked only about himself or herself, you know the value of asking questions. Questions indicate that you’re taking a genuine interest in someone. Here’s a pro tip: When you’re struggling to make small talk with someone, asking questions helps find common ground.

Even when you think you have nothing in common with a person, you can ask questions until you find some aspect of that person that you can relate to. And that’s how you can survive different coworkers, too!

These four suggestions are the basis for healthy communication. When you get more secure, move on to things like making eye contact, watching your body language, and learning how to be a master of small talk. From colleagues, friends, families, or marriages, healthy communication can have a positive impact on relationships.

 

SelectHealth may link to other websites for your convenience. SelectHealth does not expressly or implicitly recommend or endorse the views, opinions, specific services, or products referenced at other websites linked to the SelectHealth site, unless explicitly stated.

The content presented here is for your information only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, and it should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.

You May Also Like...

Healthcare and Insurance Basics

Preventive Care for Men and Women: Cancer Screenings [Infographic]

Preventive care can help you gauge your current health status and find out ways to protect it now and in the future. Follow these recommendations for getting screened for cancer.

Nutrition and Diet

Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Need something quick? These Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins are a healthy grab-and-go option for a busy week.

In the Community

Is Your Organization Keeping Utah Healthy? Apply for Our Award

Each year, we recognize 20 organizations that are making a healthy difference in Utah to help support their missions.

Business

How I Connected My Personal Purpose to Our Organization’s Mission

Here’s why I created a personal mission statement and how it’s had a lasting impact on my career.

Related Articles

Related Articles

Healthy Living

Ways to Alleviate Joint Pain Naturally

If you’re one of many adults who experience joint pain, there may be some things you can try at home before seeking professional help.

Healthy Living

Effective Ways To Workout At Work—Part 2

Don’t have time to hit the gym or exercise every day? These workouts will help you increase activity while on the job.

Healthy Living

How to Stay Optimistic During Hard Times

Hard times always come. But there are things we can do to make them a little more bearable.

Healthy Living

Winter Blues Getting You Down?

Know the signs of seasonal affective disorder and how to treat it.

Post Author

Jennifer Diffley
Jennifer Diffley is a SLC resident. She is a senior copywriter and has her MFA in creative writing from NYU. Jennifer is committed to health, but has an unhealthy fascination with outrageous shoes.