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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FIU chapter.

Everyone says “communication is key”, but to what door?

Throughout my life and my relationships with friends, romantic partners, and even my parents, I have learned that healthy communication is one of the most important pillars of human relationships. To me, learning how to healthily communicate my feelings, wants, and needs have drastically changed the way I relate to people and has even changed the way I talk and understand myself. Here are my 3 best tips to improve your communication and foster healthy relationships:

1. Being a good communicator also means being a good listener

A really important factor of productive conversations is listening to the other person; how are you supposed to reply with a meaningful response if you don’t even know what the problem is? Giving the other person a space to express themselves freely moves the conversation forward and also builds trust within the relationship, making them see that you care about what they have to say and how they feel. Communication is a two-way street and you should be equally prepared to communicate as well as to listen.

2. Be attentive to non-verbal cues

Good communication is not just about the words we say, but also how we say them. For example, if the other person’s tone sounds irritated or upset, there may be something they are feeling but not yet ready to say. Our attitude, tone, and body language give away a lot more than just the words we speak. Being able to pick up on subtle cues like body language and tone, will allow you to redirect the way you handle the conversation and adjust accordingly to make it a safe space for both of you to communicate peacefully and comfortably.

3. Don’t try to read their mind

Let’s face it: as much as we want to be mind readers, we aren’t and shouldn’t have to be. If you are not sure about the other person’s feelings, ask! A very important factor in healthy communication is asking open-ended questions. Letting the other person have a space to develop their answers will give you a much better chance at actually understanding how they feel, as given by their perspective, instead of you making assumptions that could lead to misunderstandings.

Finally, remember that communication is a skill that takes a lifetime to master and that we are constantly learning; what may work for one person, may not work for another. What matters, is that both parties have the will to communicate, solve problems together, and learn how to better themselves through each other.

Junior pursuing a Marketing major and a Hospitality minor at FIU!