Effective communication in interpersonal relationships

The quality of communication plays a crucial role in interpersonal relationships. Communication is about how we speak and communicate, what we have to say and -at the same time- how we interpret and understand what others express to us. It includes all the verbal and non-verbal elements that take place in our interaction with others. The clearer the communication codes, the more effective it will be.

Effective communication contributes to the creation and development of relationships. It is the way of interaction and mutual understanding with others, it helps us to cooperate, to co-decide, to exchange opinions, to share thoughts and feelings. It enables us to understand and state our intentions, as well as to understand others. Effective communication ensures security and trust, elements important for a healthy relationship.

«I can talk with my partner openly about everything and I feel that he understands me. Talking to him helps me dealing with the problems I face in areas of my life. It’s a healthy relationship in which I feel supported. »

B., student of DUTH, 21 years old

Interpersonal relationships that are based on very good communication can deal with any problems and difficulties more effectively. On the contrary, lack of communication weakens relationships and can cause even more obstacles.

«I don’t feel comfortable talking to my parents about the problems I face with my studies. I’m afraid of their reaction. They never understand me and we always end up shouting and arguing. We haven’t learned how to talk openly with each other. So I hide the reality from them about my degrees or the number of lessons I didn’t pass. As a result, I feel even more pressure and stress. »

P., student of DUTH, 22 years old

Barriers to communication can be varied. It is helpful to recognize which are the weaknesses in our communication with others and to be active in working on them.

The quality of communication is something that changes and is cultivated. Here are some helpful tips to help strengthen and improve communication:

  • Convey as clear and understandable messages as possible

  • Say how you feel

  • Use the first singular

  • Try to be calm and cool, not to express anger and aggression

  • Do not insult others

  • Do not interrupt

  • Do not jump to conclusions

  • Do not talk with riddles and rebukes

  • Listen carefully

  • Encourage others to speak openly to you

  • Ask clarifying questions

  • Keep eye contact

  • Have a friendly posture

  • Defend your positions, but also respect the positions of your interlocutor

  • Have caring and substantial interest in how your interlocutor feels

  • Aim to find a mutually satisfactory solution where both sides will be satisfied with the result

Understanding both ourselves and our motivations as well as the behaviors and needs of others are very important elements for building our interpersonal relationships. As much as we believe that we communicate well with others, it is an area that needs constant effort and improvement.

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