Tips for Healthy Communication

lifestyle wellness Apr 25, 2021

One thing that comes up a lot in my client sessions is anxiety around how others will feel if... or that someone in their life upset them and they don’t know how to address it.. or dealing with other people's emotions and energy.

People-pleasing used to be a big problem of mine. I would always worry about hurting someone’s feelings with a boundary or offending someone by telling them how I really felt.


So today I want to talk about healthy communication. Because if you communicate effectively- proper expectations are set up and it makes it much less likely for someone to be let down and it creates clear guidelines for behavior. I’ve outlined a few different scenarios that have come up in my practice before over and over again so that you have a way to navigate each one.

What do you do when a close friend/family member has constant negative energy- Let's start by talking about if you’re the person who’s always trying to keep the peace. There is always going to be family or friends who are going to be in your life no matter what. And sometimes that can be challenging because certain people have negative attitudes and energy no matter how hard we try to uplift them. And we know we’re never going to cut them out because that’s just not an option. The first thing to remember is that people who are negative are always coming from a really wounded place so it’s important to have compassion for them. Next is to come from a place of acceptance rather than trying to change them. When we accept that someone is the way that they are and we are who we are we respect ourselves and we respect them and we inherently eliminate some of the struggles because we’re not trying to change anyone and we’re not forcing them to understand us. That push alone creates a lot of stress in relationships. The third would be to put up healthy boundaries and to stick to them. So maybe if there’s someone who’s negative you set only specific times to see them or if specific topics come up you leave so that you’re never compromising your energy. And finally, lead by example. If you want a family member to have a more positive attitude or you want them to see the benefits of eating plant-based your actions speak louder than words so show them how good you feel through your choices - that energy radiates and inspires change!

How do you speak openly to your partner about your needs when you’re in a new relationship?

When you’re in a new relationship you want to stay in the honeymoon phase as long as possible and not rock the boat. I totally get it. But it’s also super important to set up a system of communication that’s safe and effective that feels good to both of you. For example, the first time that Chad and I broke up a big reason why was because I was too scared to tell him what my expectations were of him or when he upset me. I bottled it all up and that built a ton of resentment. When we got back together a few years later we had both grown up A LOT... and I was in a much more confident place, a place where I loved and respected myself - so from there felt comfortable telling him what I needed and when my needs weren’t met. I’ve always felt bonded and connected to him. We’ve always had the ability to have long-form conversations and chatted for hours. But what we needed was to be able to really understand each other even in the challenging moments, to see one another’s perspective. Relationships that are based on true love, respect, and acceptance will continue to deepen over time and you will continue to become more comfortable with each other. If you feel scared to express your needs, I highly recommend having a sit down with your partner and chatting through things because that will give you an understanding of whether or not you will be able to communicate effectively and meet one another's needs. We all deserve to feel as though we can express ourselves freely in our relationships - to be the truest YOU - because that will give you the inner knowing that you are loved for you. Open the conversation up - you may be surprised with what you’re met with!

How do you stay calm in a heated conversation- if you find yourself in an argument with someone whether it’s your partner or your children or a friend continuing to go back and forth over who’s right and who’s wrong only breeds more separatism. It’s important in these times to create a space of active listening to make sure that whoever you’re dealing with feels seen or heard. There is something to be said for people needing to be externally validated and allowing them to express themselves. Right versus wrong makes people feel more reactive. It comes back to putting our expectations and pressure on other people when instead we need to let go and listen more. Of course, you can present your feelings but do so with empathy, understanding, and compassion and use it as an exercise in letting go of control. Because when you do so with less force you create more space for the outcome you desire to come through.


What do you do if you don’t agree with your partner on parenting - this is a really tough situation because the person we need to communicate with our equal but we all have different triggers, wounds and philosophies, and dreams for our children which add up to different parenting styles. That’s why it’s so important to get on the same page. Even Chad and I have very different parenting styles. While I come from more of the communication side sometimes Chad comes from the discipline side. Even though you may not agree on how to handle some situations, the most important thing for children is to ensure that you and your partner aren’t arguing in front of them. If you want to work together to come to a solution for how to handle certain situations, do it behind closed doors and come to your kids as a united front. For Chad and I, we have time together after west goes to bed and we talk. We come from a nonconfrontation place not you’re wrong and I’m right - no one has the need to get defensive. You can say I want them to be motivated from a place of love rather than from a place of intimidation or fear. When you go into the conversation like that from a place of calm and grounding you give your partner the opportunity to look within and see what their motivations are so that you can come together and support one another.

I hope that these were helpful scenarios to guide you through how to effectively communicate and takes the stress out of your relationships.

Sending you so much love,

Kelley XX