June is “Effective Communication Month” which is a perfect time to pause and examine our current habits and patterns of communication with others.
A few years ago when I conducted my own research on communication between girlfriends, I saw many trends in what people value and also what they don’t like regarding communication styles.
Two of the most important skills that women shared they look for and desire in their female friendships are LISTENING and VALIDATING. In my book, “The Healing Power of Girlfriends,” I discuss the merits of honing our listening skills and how to resist the human temptation to talk about ourselves, and instead how to become a five-star listener!
Another skill that is so key in being a supportive and encouraging girlfriend, is to learn the art of validating. In chapter 5 of my book, I discuss how validation is one of the foundational building blocks for healthy, happy, and highly functioning relationships. To be validating in our friendships means we send a message of empathy, understanding, and affirmation.
How we listen and validate when communicating with our girlfriends can be the “game changer” of feeling heard and embraced by compassion, or left alone to swim in the tumultuous waters of life by ourselves.
Being an effective communicator requires intention and self-reflection. It perhaps comes more natural for some people than others, but with practice this is a skill that is worth every ounce of effort.
What communication habits do you engage in that are in need of some tweaking here or there? How can you begin to enhance your skills to become a more sophisticated communicator in your friendships?