2 minute read
Loving family 101: communication
Meet face to face
Keep emails and texts for less significant exchanges. Face the person you’re talking to, stand with confidence and an open posture and speak slowly. Our voice jumps in volume and pitch when we’re feeling out of control but a steady, deliberate voice conveys confidence during more difficult conversations.
The 13th-century Persian poet Rumi wrote: ‘Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.’ It seems basic but being shrill raises hackles!
Say what you feel
Use the first person ‘I’; it apportions less blame. Be truthful about your emotions but don’t dwell on negative feelings.
Use thoughtful language
State calmly what you would like the other person to do. Professor of social interaction Elizabeth Stokoe analysed thousands of hours of recorded calls – from customer services to 999 calls – and found the word ‘willing’ has a magical effect on people. If they’re not willing to do what you ask, pause while you work out what will be acceptable to you both.
Find out more about Rachel Kelly here.