10 Signs of a Confident Communicator

How you interact matters, as much as and sometimes more than, the words that you say.  Imagine someone asking for a raise.  One person does so with a smile and straightforward gaze, while another says the same words with a frown and stares at her shoes and hangs her head.

Your body language and style not only affect the outcome, but also the way you feel.  Sometimes we interact in ways that wear at our own self-confidence.

dbt, dialectical behavior therapy, dbt skills, interpersonal effectiveness, give skill, dearman skill, emotion regulation

4 Holiday Health Strategies: How to Maintain Your Well-Being During the Holiday Season

novermber calendarAlthough the holidays can be a time of happiness and joy, they can also come with a multitude of stressors.  Finances are often a stressor during the holidays, particularly for parents.  Memories of loved ones we’ve lost, a demanding schedule of activities and being alone can all increase feelings of stress at this time of year.

When you’re likely to be faced with a multitude of stressors, it can be helpful to implement a few strategies early in the season that can pay off, in terms of lower stress levels, all season long. Continue reading “4 Holiday Health Strategies: How to Maintain Your Well-Being During the Holiday Season” »

How to Reduce Conflict and Misunderstanding: Be a Better Listener

man's earDo you believe that listening is easy and requires little energy? Or that it is involuntary? Or it is the responsibility of the speaker to hold your attention?

These beliefs are a few of the fallacies that interfere with your ability to listen effectively to others and to reduce the amount of conflict and misunderstanding in your life. Often when there is conflict and misunderstanding, we are overly emotional and believe that a person needs to change. But sometimes, we are not hearing, understanding or responding to what the other person is actually communicating. Listening can reduce interpersonal problems that stem from lack of understanding, not remembering or misinterpretations.

In his book Listening Behaviors, Larry Barker suggests particular behaviors that will improve your ability to listen: Continue reading “How to Reduce Conflict and Misunderstanding: Be a Better Listener” »

6 Common Hidden Agendas that Interfere with Intimacy

intimate coupleWe all do it to some extent—tell stories, make statements or present ourselves in a particular way, in order to create an impression.  We don’t come out and directly say what we want other people to think about us—for example, we may not directly say that we’re smart or that we’re not to blame for our problems, but our motive in telling a particular story or anecdote is to make the point that we are either smart or blameless.

Hidden agendas are a part of everyday communication, but, according to Mathew McKay and colleagues in their book Messages always trying to prove something through your anecdotes and having ulterior motives when you make points and tell stories has a serious impact on your ability to be close to the people around you.

Below are a few of the common hidden agendas identified by McKay and colleagues: Continue reading “6 Common Hidden Agendas that Interfere with Intimacy” »