How To Communicate//Learn Something New

To follow-up with my previous post on Learning About Yourself (discovering your values), I wanted to continue with this theme of understanding more about ourselves.

I would argue that communication is the most important foundation for any relationship to prosper.

Today, I would like to provide you with the basics regarding the different styles of communication.  If you are not sure what style you are most comfortable with, hopefully you will gain a better understanding after this read.  If you are a seasoned veteran, and are already familiar with these communication styles, than kudos to you! But, a little refresher course wouldn’t hurt, right? 🙂

What do you know about the different styles of communication? Maybe you’re not familiar with the book terms for how you interact with others.  That’s perfectly okay too.

I for one have always heard the different terms being tossed around, but have never actually researched them on my own until grad school.

Here’s some info on the different styles of communication:

anger-management

Aggressive: is a style in which individuals express their feelings and opinions and advocate for their needs in a way that violates the rights of others.

– try to dominate others
– use humiliation to control others
– criticize, blame, or attack others
– be very impulsive

Impact: – become alienated from others, generate fear and hatred in others, and always blame others instead of owning their issues, and thus are unable to mature.

Non-capisco-image

Passive:is a style in which individuals have developed a pattern of avoiding expressing their opinions or feelings, and getting their own needs met.

– often feel anxious because life seems out of their control
– often feel depressed because they feel stuck and hopeless
– often feel resentful (but are unaware of it) because their needs are not being met
– often feel confused because they ignore their own feelings
– are unable to mature because real issues are never addressed

Impact: Increased anxiety, feelings of hopelessness and helplessness

Passive-Aggressive: is a style in which individuals appear passive on the surface but are really acting out anger in a subtle, indirect, or behind-the-scenes way.

– mutter to themselves rather than confront the person or issue
– have difficulty acknowledging their anger
– use facial expressions that don’t match how they feel – i.e., smiling when angry
– deny there is a problem

Impact: become alienated from those around them, remain stuck in a position of powerlessness, and discharge resentment while real issues are never addressed so they can’t mature.

Personally, I am admitting that I would become easily irritated when I felt that I was unable to express myself completely. Honestly, for the majority of my life I’ve felt that I’ve probably gravitated towards the passive aggressive style of communicating.  I kept hearing people say that when referring to me, and still I had no idea what they meant exactly. I assumed this was a funny way of reminding me to check my attitude :-/. Needless to say, I learned a lot about myself.

How-to-be-a-More-Assertive-Parent_Article

Assertiveis a style in which individuals clearly state their opinions and feelings, and firmly advocate for their rights and needs without violating the rights of others.

– state needs and wants clearly, appropriately, and respectfully
– listen well without interrupting
– feel in control of self
– not allow others to abuse or manipulate them
– stand up for their rights

Impact: – feel connected to others, feel in control of their lives, are able to mature because they address issues and problems as they arise, create a respectful environment for others to grow and mature

Once I understood more about my own patterns, I was able to make a decision on where I wanted to be, to get to a place where I could communicate freely. I wanted to be understood, respected, someone whom others would consider when making important decisions, and confident. My next course of action was to do the research on reaching these communication milestones. I wanted to be assertive, and this is the style that I have been practicing for the most part more recently. I still have those days when I fall back into my old pattern (sorry guys). Good thing my family and friends are extremely forgiving :-).

What style of communicating best fits you? Has this changed over time?

XOXO

~FreeBryd

Resources:

If you’re curious about what style best suits you, take this 20 question quiz:HERE.

Full descriptions on communication styles: HERE


Image #1:http://blog.prepscholar.com/

Image #2:http://www.bacweb.org/

Image#3:http://effectivecommunicationadvice.com/

Image #4:http://www.empoweringparents.com/

Building Relationships//Research Results

In an earlier post, I wrote about finding ways that women could improve their relationships with one another.  If you missed that post, click here to read more about it.

In a nutshell, I’ve realized that it is not often that women can come together to mingle, without the sole purpose being on family.  For example, men typically use sports as a way to connect.  Usually they can meet at a number of local spots, and bond over this experience together…I want the same for women.

Today, I wanted to post the results for those of you who are interested in finding new ways of networking with other women.

women

Here are the questions that I posted earlier to help me obtain this information:

  1. What is currently available to women where they can go to mingle and network (places, activities to complete together)?
  2. Of these places, what is the primary focus (family/relationship/work oriented, etc.)?
  3. What would you like to see women do together, if there are currently no places that meet your needs/expectations on networking with other women?

From Blogger: Ladycamecu

1).Places women tend to go to socialize tend to exclude men like shopping or are centered around things that they are doing with other moms or something like play dates. In my experience I tend to go wine and design classes, dinner dates, find fun races (adventure races) or cheap groupon activities that are new to do together like bowling, spa dates and the like.
2). We talk about small talk to get it out of the way but then we like to focus on each other’s goals, future plans, fun, and how to make those moves. We also like to talk about health and how to change it and relationships are a biggie as I am a counselor but we are in our own right so I’m sure that is a big one for all of us).
3). I would like to see women do more physical activity together, I do not see that as much as I should. I see some walking, but there are other activities that can be fun such as ropes courses, team sports (even casually), mental games like escape houses, photography classes (confidence building) or pole fitness (fun, fitness, and confidence building) etc…

From Blogger: Sammy

1 and 2- the spa, nail shop, beauty salon, SEPHORA!!! I can only think of places for grooming.
3-I’m thinking these places are great for women. But I usually am flying solo or hanging with my friends. These are not really places that women go for socializing with strangers. If these places had lady’s special or nights, they may draw in larger quantities of women and this may result in socializing among women.

From Blogger: Nena

1)I started a Ladies Night that we do each month with some close lady friends of mine. To give you an idea we have:

~Gone to a local restaurant that offered a ladies night deal
~Done a Paint Night where we go to a local restaurant or bar to do some guided painting:)
~Celebrated birthdays at one of our homes and made high-heeled cupcakes we saw on Pinterest and played board games

2) We usually like to just have some fun together since we rarely hang out with just the women. We use it as our time to just relax and get away from the regular routine.

3) I agree with ladycamecu about having more physical activities to do together…for women only. Like having a Ladies Mud Run. Dance classes (like belly dancing) and in the continuing education seminars for my professions.

From Blogger: Daisy

My friends and I did plenty of the typical activities, pedicures, shopping, bars, and restaurants. We talked about going to an art class but it never worked out with our schedules. As I’ve tried to transition into a more active lifestyle and make some changes I try to plan more outdoor activities like hiking or even just a walk. I’d like to try some cooking classes and more active activities like belly dancing. Fun activities that help with my change to a healthier lifestyle.

From Blogger: EGOTist

  1. I’ve been to brunches, game nights, writing sessions, birthday parties, and toy and make-up parties. I feel like most of the networking and hang-out sessions I’ve been to have been organized by women and targeted exclusively to them. Meet-Up is a great way to connect and I’ve been to some interesting events through them. I also find that salons (hair and nail) and waiting rooms are great places to have some amazing discussions. Happy hours are also great places to strike up conversations with other women.
  2. I think the focus depends on where you are and who you’re with. Conversations I have are usually very fluid in their topics especially when you have a mix of women from different backgrounds.
  3. I always like to see more work/business related networking events and I’d like to see more mentoring opportunities and open discussions about sexual and mental health.

Recently, my friends and I have been trying to meet up at least twice per month to have a ladies night out.  Nothing is off the table…lol.  Later this week, I already have plans to meet up with some lady friends for dinner, and to catch up on life.  I am really looking forward to this night! I have also been meaning to start a book club, as well as a bi-weekly potluck, where we can alternate whose house we will be hosting at.

If you have any ideas that could help add to this current list (many ideas gained from other interviewees were already on this list, please provide some feedback for yours truly! 🙂

~FreeBryd

Fix My Relationship Friday’s//Vol.1~Cont’d

Hey All!

Here is the second round of interviews from today’s Fix My Relationship series…

Click here to read the previous post/interviews, if you missed this earlier.

Interview#1

He relocated for college a few years before me, and I joined him. Higher education was necessary for him.  He went to grad school.  I also moved to another state to begin college.  I was never unfaithful. But I was fearful that he would cheat on me, because we weren’t together. Trust was our biggest challenge. I knew in my heart that he was probably unfaithful, but I still ignored this gut feeling because I loved him so much. We did not physically see one another often, but we would always be communicating. We Skyped, texted, and spoke on the phone very frequently.  We were able to visit one another once every 2 months if we were lucky. 

Advice: Our relationship was built on a solid foundation of friendship, so that kept me going. If you truly care about the person, then do whatever it takes to make this work.

Interview #2 Shana (wanted a shout out lol)

We knew one another for a few months before entering into a long distance relationship.  I went away for school briefly, while in this relationship. I didn’t know what I was doing.  I came back home after the first semester away, because I missed him.  I was in a bad mind-set at that time. I probably would have stayed away at school longer if I wasn’t dating him. I have never, and will never cheat on anyone.  I’m in it for the long haul.  I do what I can to try to make my relationships work, because this is what I want. I would rather end the relationship than cheat.  The biggest challenge, was not seeing one another often. It is very hard to develop something more if you don’t see them.  

You also need to know how they are in person, and this may be less likely to happen with long distance.  Sex isn’t my top priority. I’m more concerned about learning how to resolve our issues.  What happens if we disagree? This is something that we had to constantly work on. It was harder to talk on the phone about these disagreements. We spoke constantly via video chat, even though it kept freezing lol.  We visited one another once that month, and were still getting to know each other.

Advice: Compromise!! Make sure they’re worth it (good convos, do we argue, willing to see one another). Google “advice” on long distance relationship for tips, to help make the most of the time you have with one another. Make it fun!! Video chatting is a must. People are afraid to take risks…but, step out on faith.  New experiences make your life better. If you’re unhappy, then you need to move on, and that’s still ok.  People are also afraid to be by themselves…and unfortunatley they jump into any relationship. Work on yourself when you have that time away from your significant other, until you are able to be together again.

Interview #3:

Long distance relationships are tough. When I first got into my relationship 13 years ago it was long distance. He was in college away and I was home. We knew it would be long distance to start and it actually made us stronger being away. When we would see one another we rarely argued since we were so happy to be spending time together. We usually saw each other once a month for the first year of our relationship. We have had moments where our relationship was long distance again but for shorter periods between 2-4 months. Neither of us were tempted to cheat during our long distance period and I think that is largely due to missing one another and having great times when we could be together.

I will say that long distance is very hard, but feasible and sometimes can make your relationship stronger. As they say absence makes the heart grow fonder! It can also harm the relationship because you get used to always having great moments that when you see one another daily the smaller arguments get frustrating because you think back to when you didn’t argue, because all your time was spent doing fun things.

Advice: Be clear about your expectations. Dating long distance also sets expectations that when you are long distance, when you do spend time together you tend to have sex more during that short visit that normally wouldn’t occur if spending time daily with one another. All in all it can work if both parties want it to.

*End of Interviews*


Thanks for joining me today!  Doors are open for feedback.  Would you date long distance? Have you ever experienced this?  Would you try this again? Please share your success, struggles, never look back stories and teachable moments for others…Let’s talk about it!

~FreeBryd