Monday, July 30, 2012
Communication and Friendship
communication and friendship.
I think that a lot of you would agree with me when I say that strong communication skills between friends will greatly benefit the friendship, and having no communication skills will be detrimental to the friendship. Either way, communication definitely makes a huge impact on a friendship and can be one of the main deciding factors in which direction your friendship goes.
Every relationship you have in your life, whether the person is a friend, acquaintance, or an enemy, was founded on communication. Not all communication is verbal. You can communicate with someone through your body language and actions, just like you can communicate with someone through spoken word.
Do you remember the quote, "actions speak louder than words"? It's true. Think about being a room full of people and observing them. Their body language can speak volumes about the person they are and how the communicate. You're less likely to walk up to someone and start a conversation with them if they're standing in the corner with the arms crossed, than if someone is standing across the room looking around just like you, with their arms at their side and a relaxed look on their face. For most people, body language is a dead giveaway as to what they're thinking or feeling. Body language and communication go hand-in-hand.
Examples of poor communication skills are: lack of spoken word, deceiving people (keeping your true thoughts inside when they really should be put on the table), shutting down when someone is trying to work things out with you, or trying to avoid confrontation when an issue needs to be talked about. If you say one thing and do another, it's going to cause problems in any relationship. One of the best ways to avoid this is to be honest from the beginning. "Treat others how you would like to be treated." Be honest! If you say you're going to do something, do it. If you say you like someone and then go behind the person's back and talk about them, not only does it show that you're a decieving person, it also shows that you lack communication skills. I've always been a straight up person. If I have a problem with someone, I'd rather solve it with them than talk to everyone else about it. I hate when people bring other people into problems that have nothing to do with them. A lot of the time, adding a 3rd or 4th person into the equation can actually make the argument or disagreement a lot worse, because then you have 1 or 2 other opinions that aren't necessary.
Listening is another huge part of communication. If your conversations are primarily one-sided, and you're the only one communicating and getting your feelings out, the whole conversation is pointless. If a friend needs to vent, LISTEN. Sometimes they don't want your advice. Sometimes people just want someone to listen to them. They want to be heard. So remember to listen and think before you speak.
Communication can start a friendship, and it can end a friendship. When you have good communication between two people, it will strengthen the friendship and eventually build trust. When a person communicates honestly, after time, trust usually follows. By not communicating your honest thoughts, it can end up hurting the friendship, and result in one person NOT trusting the other. Trust can take years to build, but seconds to shatter. If you communicate openly and honestly, and you'll avoid a lot of unnecessary drama and problems. The purpose of communication is understanding, and everyone wants to be understood. Remember that listening is just as important as speaking. Friendship without communicating is like a book without words. One doesn't work without the other. True friends are few and far between, so be thankful for the people in your life and communicate with them as best as possible, so your friendship can continue to grow and strengthen.