The Importance of Communication and Interpersonal Skills

A lot of people go through life unnecessarily unhappy and depressed. They feel unvalued and misunderstood, seeing no way out of whatever problem they are facing. Often, though, their issues could be solved easily, by doing one little thing.

Talking.

Communication is important, it can clear away misunderstandings and can stop additional problems arising. Talking can help you get your issues across and bring you inner calm and healing. It helps you purge yourself from the pain that can damage your spirit and even your intestines.

Sadly there is stigma that surrounds talking especially if it involves feelings that need to be expressed – particularly for men. This is a shame because talking things out might be one of the most powerful tools for inner healing and an easier life.

Most people choose not to talk about things that they fear might be uncomfortable or personal because they fear they are unable to express it properly. Some are simply too scared or shy to make themselves heard. Others are taught that expressing feelings and emotions is bad for various reasons.

Communicating should be encouraged not discouraged; because the lack of conversation is at the root of many of this world’s problems.

When one person does not know what the other wants, how can they help out? If you are upset about something but don’t tell someone, they can’t correct their behavior. This is called avoidance.

Avoidance often leads to a breakdown in communication altogether. Usually continuing until either party breaks down and long drawn out fights start where grievances are expressed and endlessly listed. Of course, this chain reaction is often the cause of many a relationship ending and sometimes a separation between parents and children. Had either party spoken out sooner, an adult discussion could have been held instead of a dragged out war without winners.

Communication is not only important where relationships are concerned. Not expressing a grievance or pointing out a problem is also the leading cause of job loss, medical misunderstandings and in some cases a government crises.

Keeping things festering inside is unhealthy: unexpressed stress can cause stomach and skin problems. It is also bad for your mental health because even though you avoid burdening others, you are still stuck with the problem. You might end up with stress related illnesses and, in the long term even aggressive behavior.

The world is suffering because despite the internet, and it’s open platform for anyone to express opinions, we have stopped listening and are shutting down anyone who doesn’t express the opinion we want to hear. We call people who are upset about something “snowflakes” even if they have a point. This has made communication harder than ever. Perhaps talking isn’t even that important, it’s listening to others that’s the key to a healthy and safe communication between people.

Here is some key advice for communication:

If someone comes up to you, requesting a chat accept it as soon as possible. It took a lot of courage to come to you.

Never jump in with assumptions when a person falters. This might stop them from telling you what they really want to say.

Never fear to come across as either stupid or too sensitive and don’t make others afraid to do so either.

If someone is wrong, tell them gently or guide them to the right answer. Never be rude or mean about it. Not everyone knows what you know.

In the same vein, a person has the right to be upset about something, even if the reason seems trivial or silly to you. Let the person explain to you what it was that upset them and then either apologize or explain what it was you actually meant.

As long as it is not out of spite, never fear upsetting someone by voicing your feelings. If it hurt you, you have the right to tell the person that put you through it, if you don’t say anything nothing will change. It’s that simple.

For the sake of our humanity, we all need to utilize the power of communication and re-learn interpersonal skills.

Don’t let the fear of being judged stop you. Just know, people judge us either way, but at least let them judge you for who you really are. Speak out, if you keep it in no-one can help you.

Only you can be your voice.

Photo Credit: stevendepolo Flickr via Compfight cc



Danni Cohen

Dannii Cohen is a former stand-up comedian and comedy writer turned author, psychologist, professional counsellor, life coach and self-help expert. She is specialized in LGBT issues, anxiety, women’s issues, female empowerment, and bullying.

Dannii is an author for Life Hack, Feminine Collective, She Knows, The Gay UK and Colours of Nature.
Her books “50 Things To Know To Have A Better Life” and “Being Ace” will be published later this year.

3 thoughts on “The Importance of Communication and Interpersonal Skills

  1. Jacqueline CioffaJacqueline Cioffa Reply

    Dannii,

    As a person who is quick to speak their mind, but never communicate true, deep rooted feelings I found your essay to be filled with nuggets of practical wisdom. Thank you, and I plan on practicing some of your tips!

    Jackie

  2. Bryan GraftonBryan Grafton Reply

    This sounds like the wisdom and advice of an older person. Took me a lifetime to figure out some of these things that this young woman has already grasped. She is so right about so many things.

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