Posted by: Anne | October 24, 2015

a bag of treats: boosters to effective communication

a bag of treats: boosters to effective communication*

(: Finding common ground

(: Generously offer the benefit of the doubt, knowing that any judgments I make are always based on my understanding of their situation, which is incomplete at best and erroneous at worst

(: Letting little things go. One article suggested this perspective: “Guess what? You’re annoying sometimes, too. That is very different from being unkind, thoughtless, or even cruel.”

(: Choose your words carefully.

(: Fighting the urge to use sarcasm. If effective communication is my goal, keeping my tone as neutral as possible limits the risk that I will negatively influence the other person’s reaction.

(: Awareness that, like me, other people have a story… and it’s more than the page I’m reading

(: Talking TO the person instead of ABOUT them

(: My hurt does not give me the right to be hurtful. (Compare to Ephesians 4:26, “Be angry and do not sin.”) To take it a step further with an example, if the person I’m dating wants to break up with me, and then my response is to lash out hatefully, I clearly prove that they made the right decision.

(: Explaining what’s on your mind. With words.

(: Using available tools, including social media, to keep communication going

(: Address the specific problem and offer a solution: “When you use the car and leave the gas tank empty, I don’t feel as if you’re considering the next person who’ll use the car, which is usually me. Would you be willing to fill the car up at half a tank?” (Compare to, “You never fill the gas tank!”)

(: Bringing up my concerns before they become a problem

(: Remembering that if I cut someone out of my life every time I find a disconnect, pretty soon I won’t have anyone left

* Of course, this is only a smattering of examples, not an all-inclusive list.


  1. While this compilation is “by me,” a few lines were pulled from years-old sources that I am currently unable to verify. If you feel that I owe you credit, “communicate” and let me know!

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