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Communication Skills With Loved Ones - When You DON'T Agree

By: Logan Cohen, Online Life Coach & Professional Therapist - Balanced Man Plan

The World just seems to be moving faster and FASTER these days! Between global pandemics & civil unrest, it can be HARD to talk to People these days when we don't agree - even the People we love!

Many of the hotly debated topics these days have DEEP roots in old cultural traditions - like politics or other HEAVY social issues.

When this type of event happens and we are on a DIFFERENT side of "the argument" than the People we love - whether those are Family, a Partner, friends, or neighbors - conversations can get heated - and QUICK!

Would you like to learn more about WHY conflicts having to do with different cultural beliefs get SO heated - SO FAST? OR, would you like to learn more about why diversity is important? We encourage you to consider these pieces of information before you get too deep into practicing these communication skills with Loved Ones so you can have all of the information about WHY these communication skills are so important. Ready? Then let's continue -

We want to make sure you have what you need to talk to the People you love - even when you don't agree. There is enough happening OUT THERE, so we HAVE to be sure that "our own Home is in order."

After we go through some of these tips and methods to talk to people you love, we will ALSO touch on what to do when someone just goes TOO far.

While we would love to be a part of your "weathering the storm" with a trusted group of Loved Ones intact, we also want to make sure you can respect our OWN "Personal Integrity" - or you will "lose yourself" in it all. When we allow this to happen, we develop resentment for our Loved Ones, which will ruin that relationship over time if left unresolved.

If you have any questions about Personal Integrity and how to use your "Core Values" as the "guiding light" for your Life's Purpose, feel free to read more here.

Communication Skills With Loved Ones - When you DON'T Agree

# 1 of Communication Skills with Loved Ones - LISTEN

When things get tense, it is all too easy to get reactive and before we know it - an argument has broken out! Rather than allow yourself to REACT to what the other Person is saying, consider first taking a step back to LISTEN so we have a chance to actually use these effective communication skills and help you actually achieve the desired resolution with loved ones.

A very helpful reminder for listening is to make sure you listening to HEAR - NOT to "respond". In order to avoid getting reactive and setting off an argument where there is NO chance of even using these communication skills with Loved Ones, we have to fight the impulse to start creating a response while they are speaking. This way, they know we are listening, rather than being defensive.

This is NOT about "winning" - this is about practicing communication skills WITH our Loved Ones so we can look out for those important relationships. Nobody "wins" if only one person "wins" when it comes to arguments with Loved Ones - the team only gets broken apart!

Want a tip for even more helpful communication skills WHILE you are listening that can help you stay non-reactive?

While listening, think about follow up questions to clarify their position, thoughts, and feelings. This will make sure you don't get reactive with expressing your own position, while also giving them a chance to consider their thoughts.

While you are at it, you might even be able to ask them when they learned these ideas and who taught them. This will give you an idea of the origins of these ideas so you can actually use these communication skills with your Loved One to learn more about them. Sometimes thoughtful questions that help your Loved One consider their position from all the angles actually helps them see errors in their thought process on their OWN!

Communication Skills With Loved Ones - When you DON'T Agree

# 2 of Communication Skills with Loved Ones - WATCH

It might seem like "common sense" to mention paying attention to nonverbal communication, but as they say - "Common sense isn't all too common anymore."

Studies around communication skills with Loved Ones shows that nonverbal behavior - tone/volume of voice, posture, gestures, facial expressions - take up a total of 92% of a message!

This number might sound REALLY high, like there is NO WAY nonverbal behavior can mean THAT much - but think about this for a moment and how powerful these nonverbal communication skills play out in "sarcasm".

The statement, "That shirt is great," sounds pretty straightforward. Now if we take those SAME words and instead say, "That shirt is greeeeeeeat,' where we draw out the last word with a very flat tone - see how quickly this changes the meaning of the WHOLE message?

It is important to pay attention to nonverbals with our Loved One, as well as with ourselves! It would be a shame if you did all of this work to learn new communication skills with Loved Ones - only to ruin it by rolling the eyes or raising the voice.

While we are listening, it is important to communicate a sense of interest and respect to our Loved One.

This topic and the disagreement at hand is probably hard enough as it is and we want to make sure you get a chance to use all of these communication skills with Loved Ones so you can get the results you need.

Communication Skills With Loved Ones - When you DON'T Agree

# 3 of Communication Skills with Loved Ones - PRACTICE EMPATHY

You know that wise advice from Old Timer's as we grew up to "walk a mile in their shows?", well this is it Folks! When we practice empathy as one of these communication skills with Loved Ones, we allow ourselves to step inside their position and consider their experience.

When we practice empathy, the speaker will have greater confidence that they are safe & unconditionally loved by us, so will continue to explain their position in greater detail. As our Loved One continues to feel a lack of judgement from us, THIS is actually the best position to influence their opinions when they differ from our own (if anything can).

Not only is the use of empathy a "sound tactical decision" when it comes to communication skills with Loved Ones to reach resolution, but it also serves to slow US down. The more we stay tuned in to what our Loved One is telling us, the less we will have the impulse to REACT - rather than "listening to hear."

Communication Skills With Loved Ones - When you DON'T Agree

# 4 of Communication Skills with Loved Ones - FIND AGREEMENT

When a conversation gets tense, it can be hard to see what we have in common - even with our Loved Ones.

This is hard enough when we have a disagreement about what to eat for dinner, much less our personal feelings about a tough social or political issue!

When it comes to communication skills Loved Ones - and ESPECIALLY when we don't agree on "The Big Picture" - finding agreement on smaller pieces of the larger conflict is a way of reminding each Person that we are "on the same team".

By focusing on points of agreement - no matter how small - we can begin re-aligning ourselves with our Loved One in a way that more clearly sends the message that we are "putting the relationship first."

Have you "pulled out all the stops" by using these communication skills with Loved Ones, but the disagreement is just NOT getting any better?

Sometimes this just means it is time to "cut our losses" and get out of the conversation - at least until each party has had a bit of room to breathe.

If it has gotten to that point - read this blog to learn more about How to Disagree With a Loved One - AND Keep Your Integrity.

My name is Logan Cohen and I am a Professional Therapist & Life Coach with over 10 years in the field of Counseling Psychology. I am a Clinical Supervisor for the American Association of Marriage & Family Therapy, as well as the founder of New Leaf Counseling Group, LLC in Charlotte, NC. After spending tens of thousands of clinical hours with my own clients, starting a successful group practice, as well as a beautiful Family, I “picked my head up from the grindstone” to check in on childhood Friends & Loved Ones.

I painfully discovered that more than a few of my childhood Friends passed away at a young age from preventable health conditions and decided that as a Man, Husband, Father, and Friend, I could no longer stand by as People suffered in silence and self-destructed rather than ask for help. It doesn’t have to be like that and the holistic healing methods offered by the Balanced Man Plan is designed to help People “get unstuck” and break free from old patterns that are the barriers between Self & quality of Life.

The Balanced Man Plan is a therapeutic digital experience delivered through Self-Guided Coaching Plans created by a Male Therapist with the common barriers & strengths of Men in mind. The Balanced Man Plan has the goal of introducing a natural Balance back to Life so it is sustainable for the optimal Health & Well-Being of Self and Loved Ones - and ALL from the privacy and comfort of Home. If you have enjoyed what you see so far, check out our Self Guided Coaching Plans!

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