How do I communicate with my loved one?
Technology makes it possible to connect with people anywhere in the world at any time. Yet communicating remains a challenge. Communicating with someone with a mental illness can be even more complicated. The relationship you want to have with your loved one may be hindered by preconceived ideas, emotions about the situation, the communication skills of both parties, etc.
Verbal communication is often emphasized, yet it only accounts for 45% of overall communication. In fact, it can even be subdivided into word meaning (7%) and intonation (38%). Non-verbal communication (gestures, attitudes, mimicking and behaviour) accounts for 55% of overall communication.
In short, word meaning carries little weight when communicating. To communicate well, you have to be completely involved in the conversation. Additionally, your ability to listen is as important as your ability to express yourself. Ask questions and be interested in what the other person is saying.
How to approach conversations with your loved one
The quality of your communication with your loved one is determined by the quality of your message and your loved one’s ability to understand it at the time of the exchange. To create a good relationship with your loved one, you need to approach them as equals and actively listen to them without adding your own interpretation to their words.
To learn the golden rules of communication, please see the websites provided at the bottom of the page. You can also contact us to find out how to facilitate communication with your loved one in the particular situation you are experiencing.
Things to remember
Communication can encounter many obstacles, so it is important to make sure that you communicate well by relying not only on the verbal, but also on the non-verbal. Listening is just as important as what you say.
Make sure you approach the exchange as equals and avoid misinterpreting what your loved one is saying.