An important way of cultivating positive and nurturing relationships with others is to develop strong skills of social interaction:
- Knowing how to communicate your ideas and feelings true to your intent; and
- Being a good listener: listening with an open mind, without judgment, criticism, or interruption.
Here are a few tips for you to consider:
1. Pay attention to BODY LANGUAGE.
- Concentrate on what the other person is saying, instead of thinking about what you’re going to say next. You may be conveying your lack of interest through your facial expressions. You will certainly be missing out on important verbal and non-verbal messages that could be important in your interaction.
- Maintain good eye contact to demonstrate your interest in the conversation, while ensuring that you stay focused on the speaker’s verbal and non-verbal cues.
- Attend to the non-verbal cues of the speaker and yourself. Take note of elements such as facial expression, tone of voice, postures, and gestures.
2. Acquire humorous and playful communication skills
As the saying goes, “Laughing is the best medicine.” When we laugh and play in the face of life’s hardships and frustrations, we are able to relieve our stress, lift our moods, and restore our nerves.
Your ability to adopt a humorous and playful stance in your communication with others is a reflection of your ability to cope with life difficulties by reframing situations with a light-hearted perspective.
What are the advantages of humorous and playful communication?
- Counters challenging situations with out-of-the-box perspectives and laughter.
- Enables you to soften the difficult things you are saying.
- Relaxes and reenergizes you in a tense and conflict situation.
How to cultivate the skills of humorous and playful communication?
- Just do it: In your daily interactions with others, seize opportunities to adopt playful perspectives and make a funny comment.
- Take up fun and relaxing activities that can help you to relax and tap into your playful side. Yes, your inner child is still in there somewhere.
- Watch comedic TV shows and movies and get inspired by the witty comments.
- Spend time with animals, babies, young children, and fun people with whom you can engage in playful conversations
3. Learn how to resolve conflicts without burning bridges
Conflicts are an integral part of relationships. After all, we cannot expect two unique individuals to agree with one another at all times.
Though many of us tend to perceive conflicts as negative, we should view them as learning opportunities for two (or more) people to learn how to interact and collaborate with one another.
When we are able to resolve conflicts in a positive way, we cultivate trust and strengthen the quality of our relationships.
How to resolve conflicts constructively?
- Stay present in the here and now. View the present situation in a brand new light so that you can come up with new solutions.
- Formulate your arguments carefully. To achieve a satisfactory conclusion, take the time to formulate your arguments: decide what is worth fighting for; find a win-win compromise; and determine how best to convey it.
- Let go of grudges. Do not be clouded by the bad feelings from your past discussions. In order to resolve a conflict constructively, you cannot be operating in a vengeful or punitive mode.
- Remove yourself from conflicts that can’t be resolved. Decide to agree to disagree and step away.