Relationships are built on the foundations of trust, friendship, loyalty and effective communication. Relationships of any nature, whether parent-child, teacher-student, friends or romantic relationships, require both people to be invested in each other. This investment is primarily one of verbal and non-verbal communication, where both partners express their feelings and expect reciprocation. This open communication builds the foundation of honesty and respect within the relationship, solidifying its roots.
When a relationship is established upon clear and open communication, there is minimal room for misunderstanding, resentment and anger. When we ensure that there is two-way communication between partners and we express our positive feelings of love, praise, joy, and support, we deepen the bonds shared between both of them. It is imperative to verbally tell our partners/parents/friends/teachers/students that you appreciate them, or that you love them, and that you are grateful for them, it makes the other person feel valued and acknowledged.
These instances of positive communication safeguard your relationships from moments where confusion, anger or sadness starts to seep in. In those moments, remember to truly listen to your partner's feelings with an open mind, without becoming defensive, judgmental or dismissive. Active listening is one of the key elements of effective communication. A “fight” between two people should not always be perceived with the intention of winning or losing; in fact, it is a cry for help from two people who want to be seen, heard, and loved through empathetic and supportive communication.