How to Communicate with Love
We always hear that good communication is the key to having good relationships. So, it’s worth asking, what is the best way to communicate? If you ask me, it’s all about communicating with love. The question is, How? How can we communicate with love so we build bridges instead of burning them down? Over the years, in both my own research and in my client work, I’ve collected the essential tips on how we all can communicate with love.
Why is Love Important in our Communication?
Here’s the deal. Communication is easy when things are going well. When we feel happy, content, safe and satisfied, loving communication just rolls off the tips of our tongues, like water rolling off a duck’s back. Easy peasy.
But what happens when we’re emotionally upset? The quality of our communication starts to nosedive fast. All of a sudden, we’re saying hurtful, explosive and painful things.
Love should always be a part of our communication. But love should especially be present when communication gets hard. It’s now, more than ever, that we need love. It’s the glue that keeps us connected.
Instead of waiting for communication to nosedive before you start using love, the following tips are things you can start practicing now. Think of them as preventative medicine, rather than curative medicine.
Start with Self-Love
The words you speak are an extension of the thoughts you think. And while you might not communicate with other people 24/7, your mind is always switched on and always running.
It’s time to check in: What are you saying in your mind when you talk to yourself? Do you speak kindly, lovingly, compassionately and forgivingly with yourself? Or, do you speak disparagingly, angrily and with lots of criticism and judgment?
You might not like the answer to that question, and you might also think it’s not relevant to when you communicate with others. But that’s where you’re wrong.
The way we speak to others is a reflection of our own inner talk. So, if you’re not very nice to yourself, and if your communication reflects self-hate, rather than self-love, it’s unlikely that you will communicate with love when you speak to others.
If you want to communicate with love with others, you must first communicate with love with yourself.
Now, I’m sure you will balk and resist this idea. In fact, I’d bet you think you don’t deserve love. I bet you think you’ve made too many mistakes or that you’ve let too many people down to deserve love.
But the source of love we give to others starts inside ourselves. We can’t go to the store, buy a “Love” refill and sprinkle it into our communication. Love comes from the inside out. Therefore, communicating with love starts with being loving toward yourself.
If you try this, you will see powerful shifts in how you communicate with others. For example, if someone else messes up, you don’t have to get upset anymore. Why?
Because when you yourself mess up, you give yourself love and compassion, and because you give yourself love and compassion, you’re more willing and ready to do the same for others.
It’s not easy to just stop being mean to yourself inside your head. So, I’d like to leave you with some simple “Check-Ins” – things you can do on a daily basis to help you increase your self-love communication. This, in turn, will help you communicate with others with love.
Go ahead! Pick one and focus on it during the week.
#1: Praise yourself
We often rely on other people to lift us up. Now’s the time to praise yourself. Whenever you do something you’re proud of, acknowledge it and say, “I’m so proud of myself. I did a great job.”
#2: Be reasonable
If you’re feeling tired or crabby because you’ve had a hard, long day, be reasonable and admit that to yourself. Don’t hate yourself for not feeling like Wonder Woman or Superman. Say, “It makes sense that I feel this way. Now, I can go home and rest.”
#3: Be forgiving
Maybe you missed a deadline at work, or you didn’t make your quota this month, or you weren’t at your child’s concert, or you let your partner down… The opportunities for mistakes are endless, but so are the opportunities to be forgiving. Instead of saying “You’re such an idiot!” Say, “I made a mistake, and that’s okay. Tomorrow, I will make it better.”
#4: Acknowledge jealousy
Jealousy happens to the best of us. Instead of being hard on yourself for this, admit that you’re jealous and see it as a signal that other people have things that you’d like to have, too. Use your jealousy as an educational emotion.
#5: Release judgment
If you catch yourself judging someone else, pay attention. You may be judging them for something that you dislike about yourself. So, the next time you catch yourself judging someone else, lighten up and say, “Huh, that’s interesting. We both do the same thing.”
In order to communicate with love, we have to start with ourselves. The more loving we can be in our own inner self-talk, the more easily love will imbue the communication we have with others. Yes, even if they make a mistake, or even if they’re a source of jealousy, or even if you catch yourself judging them. Love starts with you, and loving communication starts inside you, too.