Sunday, August 12, 2018 @ 3:53 PM

Communication is one of the biggest contributors to relational issues. If one is speaking to marriage problems, anger management issues, parental problems, career issues, and/or like then one finds that poor communication is often a major factor in why clients are experiencing frustration. To learn as to how to communicate, then each construct can be better addressed as clients can better speak with respect and mindfulness. Since distortions of thoughts lead to faulty perceptions then- seeking a counselor to help with relational issues is advised. The article will however open the door of communication and may resolve some distortions with their use.

The Lord states that we are to edify, admonish, and exhort each other in a spirit of love. Counselors focus on the what, why, when, and how as they implement empirically based tools into their practice. With each tool-then counselors are able to help people increase their communication and social skills. First, we must be mindful of three basic boundaries: Emotional (to safeguard the safety, security, and acceptance), Physical (to be aware of proximity, tangible belongings, and the physical bodies), and social (the rules and manners considered correct for the forum within).

Our approach is to be mindful of all three as we seek to not violate or cause harm-yet speak to matters of importance with each other. Alert: Society may state that things are right although it would violate physical and emotional boundaries and therefore, one would need to prioritize the emotional and physical boundaries so as to do what is right instead of focusing on our right to do something that may cause harm. As clients begin this journey then they learn what is each construct and when each is used. This aids them to be more mindful of the dynamics, aware of the triggers, and able to self reflect their motives prior to making a decision.

As clients learn about dysfunctional and distorted thoughts that have to be challenged and reframed- and how to be mindful of boundaries when interacting in their social arenas; then it is often asked, "So what am I to do when I need to say something about how I feel or what is bothering me?" Good question, let us answer this.

How can we speak while being mindful of the boundaries?

There are several different communication styles common in our culture yet most are conflictive and harmful as these include defense mechanisms, distortions of thinking, and poor listening skills, and abusive manipulation; which creates offense and a closed spirit.
Personalities are also factors that play into how one perceives information. In addition, a person's core belief system, self-esteem, ability to be flexible or not, and if they possess a variety or coping tools to implement will also factor into how one speaks (utilizing their words, tone, body language) as well as; how one hears and/or understands what was said.
We first must question our motive, the issue, the fact that people interpret differently-and allow for such without reacting negatively, and also we must subdue all aggressive tones and body language. Keeping calm, with direct eye contact, listening well, and respecting each other's feelings, thoughts, and space; and this is where we start. Listening without interruption, or negative facial/body language is encouraged. Then-utilizing "I statement" patterns helps one to own their own feelings; while addressing the issue, lowering violation of the other person. This pattern works well in all relational situations.

EXAMPLE: "I feel (emotion) when (perceived problem)...,_because__(history or how the issue triggers negative feelings). and therefore, I would appreciate it if __(solution)__".

Addendums would include: " If I have done or said anything that has also hurt you like this then please accept my apology" or "A solution that I thought of was, _______________but, I would welcome any suggestions that you have that we can think upon so as to find a solution that would work for us both. Would you have anything to suggest for us?"

In this disclosure some vital items to be mindful of are: Keep calm, show kindness and compassion, have an open frame, have a welcoming and distracting-free environment, have direct eye contact, and do not use the words, YOU or their NAME; which would appear as you are blaming them for your feelings and therefore would lead to their defenses to increase.

It is good to practice these skills while with safe people such as your counselor, the group, or in healthy familial networks. We do encourage that these discussions are not placed within social media or in public view.

Therefore, one can speak to teach, admonish, and/or edify and nurture another person without violating either boundary with practice and a right heart.