In today’s world social media makes it very easy for people to connect all across the globe. Ironically, the tools we use to communicate with those around the world, can also make us disconnect from our day to day social skills.  Losing these vital social skills makes it harder for any type or relationship to form.  In addition, face to face interactions are damaged through impersonal communication because the individual is unable to express body language, tone, voice, touch and facial expressions through platforms like text message, Twitter, or Snapchat. Founder of the National Institute of Relationship Enhancement, Bernard Guerney stated: “You grow some when you face things, and I think you lose something when you have to resort to tricky things and not confront people about things that are intimately important”.

Indirect communication is not bad, actually it is becoming more commonplace.  However, we as humans are still very intimate creatures who thrive in social environments.  It is vital to know how to form relationships.  Communication, listening, and patience are the three most important aspects of a healthy relationship.


Why Communicate?

It is a vital tool that leads to successful relationships. People cannot read your mind, not even family and friends.  Without directly communicating your feelings and opinions, issues may linger and manifest into bigger problems, unnecessarily. There are many different ways to communicate with others.   Maybe you struggle with verbal communication.  Have you considered writing a letter then talking about the contents after the person reads it?  How much of your day is set aside to have genuine meaningful communication with the most important people in your life?   Put down the phones, stop working, and get off the internet.  These are just a few ways you can start.


Hearing vs. Listening: 

Listening to someone and hearing someone are two very different things.  Listening is much more of an active process, and it is key to effective communication. Regardless of the message conveyed, whether it is a criticism or compliment, it is vital that all parties give importance to what is said. One way to promote active listening is to create an environment in which people can speak freely and know that what they are saying is heard and valued.


Be Willing To Understand: 

Patience is necessary in all aspects of life. In terms of relationships, patience means you are willing to open your mind to different backgrounds, life experiences, and perspectives. This should not inhibit the growth of your relationship. Matter of fact, an open mind when communicating should help a relationship flourish. Everyone has vulnerabilities, insecurities and imperfections. Patience is the ability to recognize these factors and still work together to obtain the common goal of a fulfilling and supportive relationship.