Updated: Aug 19, 2021
Great relationships have something in common—great communication. I hear you groan as you think of those conversations you’ve had that were anything but great. But the good news that I’m here to tell you is that you can learn this stuff. I have myself and it’s made the world of difference to my marriage and in fact all my relationships. Do you want to see change in your relationships? If your answer is yes then you may have to change a few ways you’ve been operating. If you are ready to learn some effective communicating with me, let’s begin with some of Peta’s wild and wacky communication tips.
Oh, and by the way, I’m going to be parked here for a while over the next few weeks so get your notebooks out and your learning brain switched on.
Tip # 1
Give more grace. Easy peasey—not. But then new things are never easy at first; it takes some hard work and dedication and may I also say―some faith. God can do anything with a faith-filled and willing heart. Especially if others mess up and say all sorts of negative, accusing or just plain unloving things. But if you apply this tip for better relationships with your partner, friend, teen or difficult colleague, I reckon you just may begin to see some significant changes just a little down the track.
Others need someone to give them a little unconditional acceptance because life is simply tough and sometimes things really stink so just like you, they struggle. And at those times people just don’t feel safe so having a person somewhere in their world, who seems to be on their side, is like a lifeline in their drowning world.
Now, how do you do this seemingly, almost impossible task―to give grace to that unlovely person in your life? Only God’s grace to you, can give you the required insight into providing it for someone else (as unlovely as you are sometimes). They might be troublesome, cold, unforgiving or even brutal, which is all the more reason to extend grace as they must be really struggling in some way. Now I am not suggesting that you for a moment take abuse in any form, I will get to boundaries next time, but for now please know that you are allowed to say no to unacceptable and unwelcome behaviour. And you should but make sure you get support if you need to.
Back to grace. Let your quick and defensive retorts go unsaid, give them to God later because He knows anyway and wants to heal you too in this process. Allow others to be who they are even in their messes so that they can be safe and okay with you.
Just so you know, the first and foremost tool that counsellors learn is the power of unconditional positive regard with their clients. Thousands of research studies have come up with this being the single most important strategy for any and every type of counsellor and the available therapeutic tools. This acceptance, with no strings attached, outdoes everything, every time, in helping people with their mental health issues.
So the # 1 tip for better relationships? Communicate with grace.
Got it? Now go try it!
Love and Hugs,
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