Healthy communication skills matter in all types of relationships. Our relationship with our parents, coworkers, friends, and people we’re interested in dating as Catholic singles all benefit from healthy and clear communication. And while sometimes we knock it out of the ballpark when it comes to communication, other times we horribly miss the mark.
Several months ago, two people who are close to me pointed out some less-than-flattering thing they witnessed me communicate. Needless to say, I was uncomfortable in that movement. But I was grateful to see myself in a deeper way. Their honest critique helped me take responsibility for myself.
I like to think I’m a great listener. But when someone gently points out an area I can improve in, I’m able to see room for growth and take steps to make healthy changes in my communication style.
When communication breaks down in any relationship, it is nearly impossible to meet each other’s needs. This can leave people feeling abandoned, disconnected, or hurt.
If you’re a single Catholic who is ready to take a closer look at your different relationships and good communication skills, here are three ways to heal negative communication patterns and connect in healthier ways.
Start with asking open-ended questions
Asking open-ended questions is one of the best ways to increase healthy communication and connection. Open-ended questions increases friendship, which is foundational. The best kinds of open-ended questions start with “what” or “how.”
How did this make you feel?
What did you think about that?
This encourages the other person to share freely without feeling attacked or judged.
One way to put this healthy communication into practice is by being aware of the questions you ask other single Catholic men and women on online Catholic dating apps. Don’t just ask questions that can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.”
Need some ideas for those open-ended questions? Here are some of our favorites here at Catholic Singles.
Move away from assumptions
Everyone has a unique inner world of thoughts, feelings, emotions, and experiences. This means you can never fully know what another person is thinking and feeling.
When you aren’t sure what the other person is asking or communicating, try to clear things up right then and there. Say something like, “Here is what I am hearing you say. Is that right?”
Asking someone to explain their thought process so you can get to know where there coming from creates healthy understanding in your relationship. Because you’re trying to understand something from the other person’s point of view, it also decreases conflict and misunderstandings.
Use direct and warm requests
The most effective way to share your emotional needs is to state them in a direct and warm way to the other person. However, sometimes this can be difficult and challenging.
Try using “I” statements and being as specific as you can. This helps you clearly express yourself and helps the other person meet your needs while inviting them toward you.
What are your communication strengths in the relationships around you?
Are there any opportunities or ways you need to grow in your communication skills?
If so, what are some practical changes you can implement?
Tell us about them in the comments below!
Ready to use what you’ve learned about communication to connect with other single Catholic men and women? Download the Catholic Singles dating app here!