The following information is a section from the page "Communication Skills Parts 3".
Communicating affection, care, love, and warmth increase healthy connections in relationships. While connection is often desired, it is also often feared. Ironically, fear creates unhealthy connections which is the very type of connection being feared. In this way, unhealthy connections are formed and reinforced over time, situations, and generations.
Giving Compliments and Verbal Affection
Genuine compliments improve closeness in relationships. Compliments let others know you support them. If you tend to have a critical frame of mind, complimenting others can help you let go of critical thoughts.
Look for opportunities to create compliments:
- Notice behaviors you appreciate. Encourage them to continue by complimenting the person. One of the best ways to let someone know you are pleased with changes is by clearly verbalizing what you like.
- Notice a small action creating a healthy connection. Tell the person.
- "Catch" someone doing something well. Tell the person.
In close relationships:
- You can have a strong influence on others' self-esteem.
- Notice ways you benefit from the atmosphere of the relationship.
- Praise the qualities and actions of others contributing to a healthy atmosphere.
- Compliment changes in the present, without referring to what you didn't prefer in the past. For example, say "Your words are so kind", not "You're finally so much kinder than you use to be".
- If you think of someone in a negative way, notice a way they bring support to your life. Tell them about it.
- Give surprise compliments: a card, letter, or picture expressing appreciation.
- Others have the right to opinions different from yours. They also have the right to express criticism. When criticized, respond nondefensively.
- Practice using the phrases - "I love you," "I'm sorry", and "Thank you."
- Notice destructive thoughts and replace them with productive thoughts.
- Give yourself compliments.
- Value accomplishments you may consider small - they are more significant than you know!
- In situations where you are tempted to express yourself with poor communication, stop and consider at least two other ways to communicate.
- In rough moments, remember assertiveness.
- Encourage yourself to stay with changes you want to make, even if they are difficult, awkward, and frightening at first.
To increase the sense of safety in relationships, create an environment where:
- people feel free to talk about feelings
- all feelings are acceptable
- everyone is encouraged to experience a high sense of self-worth
- all issues are acceptable
- people are more important than performance
- laughter and joy are encouraged
- the atmosphere is relaxed
- each person is responsible for his/her own actions
- people have energy
- growth and success are celebrated
- all members acknowledge existing stress, and work through it together
- people feel loved
- unity exists - differences are accepted
- respectful criticism is offered
- there is a sense of trust
Over time, as you approach communication more effectively, you will be more able and confident expressing yourself. Choose how you connect with others. You are connected, so create the connections you desire!
Bring awareness to the infinite context of your life.
In each moment, creation is unfolding through you.
Step into the power of love, to bring forth your greatest offering.