Communication

Ten Rules For Communication

I have developed these ten rules for communication, which when implemented, have far more power than any argument could ever have. 

Would You Rather Be Right Or Happy?

Stop spending so much of your time and energy trying to convince others about what you believe or your point of

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view.  It is a waste of time, energy and rarely accomplishes much except to get the other person mad.  The best example of this is to turn on an evening talk show on one of the news networks.  There you will see the greatest example of a Dale Carnegie quote: “Those convinced against their will are of the same opinion still.”xiv 

Some Suggestions About Boundaries

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The next suggestion I have is to learn to set clear boundaries with people.  All too often in our relationships, or even in society, we generally fail to set boundaries and because of this we develop resentments.  This can cause us to treat others badly; not just the one who is asking us to do more than we want or can, but everyone in general. 

Some Suggestions About Criticism

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One of the biggest problems I have seen that has an impact on people’s communication skills and the experiences that they have with others is their ability to criticize much, while keeping praises and complements to a minimum.  In my experience, what has strengthened many of my relationships is my ability to give out more compliments than criticisms.  I try to find genuine reasons to give a compliment.  Most people will know if you are making things up.  It is usually much easier to find what is wrong with a person and how they do things differently from you, than it is to see the positives and similarities.    

Communication Basics

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There are many different types of people and therefore many different personalities.  There are people who are social and people who are not.  One thing that everyone has in common is our need to communicate.  The ability to communicate effectively is necessary for almost every endeavor in life.  We, as a society, have lost that vital skill and it’s about time we learned how to get it back.

Communication with Yourself 

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This is a very important aspect of communication that most people rarely think of, or tend to miss altogether, but you need to take care of you! When you take care of you, it becomes much easier to take care of and help the other people around you. You begin to value yourself and therefore begin to value those around you more. If you have ever been on an airplane, during the pre-flight safety demonstrations, there is a reason they tell you that if the oxygen masks are deployed, that you should put yours on first. If you start by putting on your children’s mask, or trying to help others around you, there’s a good chance that you will get panicky or lose control.  By not taking care of yourself first, you become useless to everyone and won’t be able to help anyone. On the other hand, if you put your mask on first, you will remain calm and relaxed; therefore, you will be better able to serve and help those around you. This is not an invitation to be selfish and neglectful of others, using the excuse that you have to take care of yourself first; but if you are practicing the rest of this program, that will not be an issue, you will instinctively know what to do.

Stages of Development 

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It’s important to know the stages your children will grow through and how you can be there to help them and to encourage them through each of these stages.  It’s also important to examine the stages you went through growing up.  This will help to give insight into who you are today.  They do not happen at exactly the same time for everyone, but you will be able to get a rough idea as to when each stage begins and how long it will last.  The three stages we need to discuss are the:  

Communication With Your Children 

This is one of the most important things you will ever do.  It is more important than any career or job you pursue.  You need to take communication with your kids very seriously, but also have fun!  With most things in life, if you mess up you can go back and redo it; it is different with your children.  If you wake up and realize, when your kids are out of high school, that you didn’t do such a great job, you can’t go back and fix it.  That’s not to say that you can’t go back and make amends for mistakes of the past, but you can’t redo your children’s childhood. 

Communication With Your Spouse

We have all sat through a wedding ceremony, if not participated in one of our own and this is roughly what we heard,

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or agreed to: 

I, (name), take you (name), to be my (wife/husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part. 

That’s it!  That’s all you have to do to have a long, happy marriage.  If you are already married, start doing what you promised too.  If you are not married yet, but are in a relationship with the one you intend to marry, then start doing this stuff now, before the wedding.  There’s nothing wrong with getting a head start.  If you’re not in a relationship now and have no plans to get married, learn this anyways because the day will come when you will meet someone who is that special to you.