Learning to talk begins early. Sometime between two and three years of age we learn and imitate how our family communicates with each other and with the world. Communication is one way we learn and know ourselves, each other, and the world around us. When communication works, it seems smooth and fluid. Yet healthy communication - saying what you mean and hearing what is said – can be difficult between individuals, families, friends, co-workers, and even strangers. When communication breaks down, voices are raised or interaction shuts down from the conversation, or both. We can be great communicators with some people in our lives, and yet struggle with others.
In counseling, you can learn skills to help in clarifying what you want to say, in being able to say what you mean to others so that you are heard and understood, and in understanding what others say to you. One of the most difficult skill to learn is to not take personally what others say – whether to you, about you, or to someone else.
Although we know how to talk to others, learning better ways to communicate can help our interaction in all relationships.