Communication and Conflict
Building Relationships Through Communication
Communication allows us to share what we think, how we feel, what we want, and what we expect. It helps us to share our emotions, feelings, and thoughts. Good communication helps us build our relationships with family and friends.
Types of Communication
- Verbal Communication is based on our words.
- Nonverbal Communication is communication based on our actions (eye contact, body posture, gestures, facial expressions, voice tone, and voice volume).
- Assertive Communication is active communication where you confidently say what you think, feel, and want in a straightforward, positive, and non-threatening way.
“I” Statement is a way of phrasing our communication where we use “I” sentences to state how we are feeling and how the behaviour/action that happened made us feel. We can use it to offer solutions for next time.
Three parts to “I” Statements
- Focusing on how you feel
- Describing what happened (the action or behaviour)
- Offering a solution to the problem
For example, “I am feeling very frustrated. I do not like you wearing my clothes without asking. I know I usually let you wear my clothes, but I would appreciate it if you asked first.”
Dealing With Conflict
Conflict is a disagreement (difference of opinion) between people or groups. It can be big or small, and the outcome depends on how we respond, manage our emotions, and choose to resolve the conflict.
Conflict Resolution is how to respond to a conflict, instead of reacting to the conflict.
Four steps to responding to conflict:
- STOP- take a few breaths. Remove yourself from the situation. Pause before hitting send or replying to messages.
- THINK- think about what you want and what the other person wants. Use empathy to try and understand the other person’s point of view.
- FEEL- recognize your feelings. Are you mad, angry, or sad? Make sure you are in control of your feelings and emotions. If you don’t feel in control, go back to Step One and take some time to step away from the conflict and come back later.
- ACT- work to resolve the conflict. When we see conflict as a natural and normal part of our interactions with others, we can focus on finding a solution, rather than deciding who is right or wrong.