How we speak, write, or act defines the way we communicate with others. Better communication is important in establishing successful relationships.
Failing to communicate in a proper way leads to misunderstandings and marred relationships. Others even said that words kill. While this might seem an exaggeration, it carries a truth in it.
Words may not literally kill, but figuratively, it kills trust, friendships or even marriages.
Words, if used correctly, can also soften the hardest of hearts and melt a seething anger. If we are to use words in our advantage, we need to learn the art of mindful communication. This means we need to communicate in a thoughtful and truthful manner.
Different cultures have different ways of communicating. Others may find our way of communicating, interesting, while others may find it provoking. Hence, in mindful communication we need to focus on the person we are talking to, instead of making them understand where we are coming from.
To some, being a good communicator is a given. To others, it is a skill that needs to be acquired through practice.
5 tips to become mindful communicators and improve our relationships:
1. Be a good listener
Most often, we forget that communicating is about listening properly. When we don’t pay attention to what the other is saying, we will, most likely, fail to grasp what the other person is talking about.
No matter how tempting it is to focus on formulating a response while the other person is talking, we need to refrain from doing so. It is best to focus on the subject at hand to resolve issues or share with the feelings that others are trying to communicate.
The ability to listen with intent is also one way of showing respect to the other person while staying in the present moment.
2. Put yourself in other’s shoes
We interpret things through our own eyes and the experiences stored in our subconscious. This makes us become bias in listening only to our own words than listening to others. This, in effect, prevents us from seeing the world according to the point of view of the other person.
When we put ourselves in the shoes of others, we slowly understand their point of view. It doesn’t mean we have to agree on everything that they say, but understand why they feel the way they do.
Seeing from the other person’s point of view gives us a fresh insight into how the world actually looks. This, in turn, opens our mind to other possibilities or resolutions to problems.
3. Don’t aim to be always right
Once we prove we are right, we have rubbed the back of our ego while losing a friend. Spiritual teacher and author, Wayne Dyer, shares us an insight, “It is better to be kind than to be right.”
Proving to be right is not always the right move because being right or wrong is a matter of perception at times. Looking at the intention behind an issue proves more important than knowing who is right.
To prove who is right is ego-based. But to look for solutions wherein both of you are not at the losing end is a kinder way of approaching things.
It is much better to admit you are wrong than to be harsh in finding ways just to prove that you are right. You only not gain a friend but gain self-respect as well.
After all, this is what communication is all about: learning from others. When we are kind enough to listen to other’s side, they are more willing to share us their story.
4. Be honest with yourself
Being honest with yourself is a great foundation in being honest with others. Hiding something makes you a bad communicator since it takes you away from the moment and focuses on the lies that you want to cover yourself with.
When you are not honest, others will pick this up. It may ignite trust issues even when you don’t have any intentions of deceiving anyone.
Be a mindful communicator by having a good connection with yourself, knowing what you stand for and being honest with yourself in all your good and bad attributes.
5. Heal your throat chakra
The throat chakra helps us in expressing ourselves clearly and mindfully. When you find yourself having trouble in communicating or speaking your truth, then you might need to work on the energy of your throat chakra.
Follow the suggestions in activating and strengthening your throat chakra:
– Singing or humming.
Singing or humming relieves you of harmful emotions and increases your level of confidence in speaking. If you choose to hum instead of sing, hum with your mouth open to help stretch your jaw muscles.
– Use the color blue.
The color blue aids in healing your throat chakra. Visualize a healing blue light radiating from your throat area. You may also want to wear blue clothes. If you have a blue crystal, wearing or holding it helps.
– Practicing yoga.
There are yoga poses that help you stimulate the throat chakra. Some of it are the cobra, camel pose, cat/cow pose or any poses that open up and expose your neck. Find the one that feels comfortable to you.
Journaling allows you to uncover your deepest thoughts, feelings, and truths. Because it allows you to speak your truth, it’s one way of stimulating your throat chakra.
Becoming a better and effective communicator does not come easy. Learning it requires a lot of hits and misses. But when you try to remain present and mindful of every word that you utter, it will improve your relationships and make you gain new ones.