What did you say?!

A good life skill to master is effective interpersonal communication. Having the ability to successfully communicate your wants and needs to another person makes life that much easier. By no means is this attained overnight. If it were that easy, anti-wrinkling cream would be a thing of the past.

The first step in learning interpersonal effectiveness skills is patience. Keep in mind when that while you may be working on better communication, the other person may not be… so be mindful when approaching a situation that may become one-sided very easily. Be considerate of your body language; have good posture and make steady – but not staring – eye contact. Have a 90-degree chin when addressing the person.

Be assertive. Don’t fall into passiveness, aggressiveness, or passive-agressiveness. Stay neutral. Avoid “you” statements. For example, instead of saying to your sister “I don’t like when you take my clothes without asking” you could say “I don’t appreciate when someone takes things from me without asking.” This way the person you are addressing will less likely become defensive. Make your case and then let the other person state his or her side after. MAKE SURE TO LISTEN! Treat them the way you wanted to be treated. Be an example.

Remember good communication takes a lot of practice so do not be discouraged if at the first time it’s rocky … they usually are. Just keep trying and encourage others. You can do it!