How to Get Your Voice Heard: Tips for Better Communication

A lot of us have a hard time communicating effectively with the people around us. Whether that’s with our partner, children, friends, or colleagues, communication can be a tough subject. There’s just something about asserting yourself that’s hard, even with people that you’re comfortable with.

However, communication is one of the main cornerstones of absolutely any relationship. No matter the nature or quality of your relationship, striving to be better at communication is a good goal to have. Here are a few tips for better communication.

Be brave
The first step, is to take a deep breath, and choose to be brave. Putting yourself out there is hard. I recommend starting with your closest relationships, with the people you know will listen to you. Whether this is a friend or a partner, make a goal to be more assertive the next time you have an issue or an opinion that needs to be voiced. Do you tend to let yourself be bulldozed in social situations? You’re not alone. It’s important to remember that in most cases, this isn’t the fault of the person you are speaking with. If you don’t contribute anything to a conversation, it’s natural for them to fill up the silence. If you don’t voice your opinion, they will assume you don’t have one on the specific topic at hand.

Getting past embarrassment
One very common reason that many people find themselves falling silent, is because of the fear of embarrassment. Or sometimes, just fear in general. Fear of judgement, anger, and upsetting someone are just a few ways that you may be afraid to speak your mind. The issue here, is that you are more concerned with the feelings of whoever you are speaking with, rather than your own feelings. It’s okay, and good, to not be selfish and to be concerned about how the people you are interacting with feel. But it’s also important to stand up for yourself and let yourself put your needs first, in most cases. There is no magic formula to suddenly get over your aversions to communicating better. Often, the first step, is to take that deep breath, and speak your mind.

Be attentive
Communication is a two-way street. You want to voice your opinion, and be heard. Conversely, the person you are speaking with wants the same thing. When you are speaking with someone, pay attention. Put away distractions, make eye contact with them, and just listen. Seriously, put down your phone, and be present with the conversation you have. It’s important to listen, in order to be listened to. It’s not only a respectful thing to do when talking to someone, it helps them understand that you are serious about what you’re talking about, and they will be more attentive to you when you are speaking.

Understand that it takes time
No one becomes perfect at something overnight, and it’s no different when it comes to communicating. It will take time to respect yourself and your opinion enough to speak it immediately, without the internal pep talk. Just remember, your opinion matters. Your friends and family want to hear what you have to say.

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