We often hear that good communication is key to a good relationship. The problem is that they don’t define it well. In my experience, it involves more than just speaking. It involves listening, loving, and change. True communication that makes a good relationship includes each of these things.
Listening in Communication
One important aspect of communication involves listening. Listening includes more than hearing. It strives to understand what the other truly wants to communicate. It means a complete focus on the other person, seeing what they say as well as hearing. Listening does not mean trying to solve any problems, yet. Listening is important to communication because it shows understanding and the desire to actually hear what the other person has to say. Sometimes they just need someone to listen, not someone to solve any problems. When we listen to each other we have less chance of misunderstanding and causing more problems.
Love in Communication
Like so many things, communication needs love. Love listens, soothes, and understands. It does not try to change. Most importantly, love helps the other person feel like they are needed. One way to communicate love is through the Love Languages. The Love Languages consists of five ways a person feels loved. These five ways are physical touch, quality time, gifts, service, and words. By knowing and communicating in your loved ones’ love language, you communicate love.
The final part of communication involves change. When you communicate something needed to your loved one and nothing happens, then communication did not happen. Basically, in order to truly communicate you have to be willing to change. If your loved one needs something done, or you to do something different, you need to change. If you truly communicate love and listen to what they say, you may be able to make changes in their life or yours to help them. Change shows true understanding.
Now all these steps may not happen at one time. Some days you may only need to communicate love. While on other days, you may only need to show you can listen. Finally, you may need to change, or even do all three. It does not matter, the order or how just that doing these three things will help. As you improve communication, you may find your relationships get a little better. Or you may find that this relationship is not for you. Whatever the outcome, communication will help.