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Healthy Conversations

Maintaining healthy conversations in your life is important to nurturing healthy friendships and relationships. It will also help you to improve your communication skills.

What Is a Healthy Conversation?

Engaging in conversation that benefits both people involved while also making progress in your relationship is the idea of a healthy conversation. Communicating feelings honestly and kindly, where both parties use active listening and try to understand one another.

Benefits of Healthy Conversations

There are many benefits to healthy conversations. The list could go on, but here are some of the best:

1. Respect.

You will be able to gain respect and admiration from your peers for the calm and collected aura around you when communicating. This will also help increase the respect of those who are communicating with you.

2. Positive Mindset.

If you are able to work out any tough situation with positivity and healthy communication, you can tackle the world. Your outlook will become increasingly positive, and you will be a much stronger person.

3. Increased Intelligence.

Those who take the time and effort to grow in communication are the kinds of people who get smarter every day. Your active listening will help you learn more, and your honesty and patience will lead you to grow as a person.

4. Less Fighting.

No one enjoys intense arguments. The ability to de-escalate will be something you can carry with you and use for the rest of your life. Keeping big fights from happening will significantly decrease your stress and put you in fewer tough situations.

5. Better Relationships.

Your relationships will be able to become much healthier when you learn how to have healthy conversations. Conversation is one of the biggest parts of any relationship, so good communication will only strengthen your connection. When things feel less toxic or stressful when you talk, you’ll be able to feel safer with each other.

Bases of a Healthy Conversation

Bases of healthy conversations.
Bases of healthy conversations.

There are plenty of bases to stick to when navigating a conversation in order to make it healthy. Here are a few:

Become an Engaged Listener.

The first step to a healthy conversation is engaging in active listening. It will show that you respect what the other has to say, and it will help you with your responses later on. To make sure that you are listening to the best of your ability, you should focus on the speaker as they talk.

Maintain eye contact, and make sure you can clearly hear what they are saying. If your response afterward proves that you were listening, the other person will know that you are showing interest and taking what they have to say into account.

Remain Calm.

As the conversation continues, you may run into topics that you are emotionally connected to. Whether it seems as if they are personally attacking you or strongly disagree with what they are saying, it is best to stay calm. Take a moment to pause from the conversation before you reply, and do what you need to calm yourself down.

Whatever they say, they are only words, and you can’t control what they say to you. But you can control how you act afterward. It is best to push away that anger so that the negative levels of the conversation don’t fall further. It may be difficult, but you will be doing your part to maintain a healthy conversation, showing that you are the bigger person.

Be Assertive.

If the conversation is serious, what you have to say is just as important. Don’t allow them to constantly talk over you and disrespect your thoughts. Stand your ground and speak clearly about your opinions and thoughts. Of course, you don’t want to be too pushy, but true honesty goes a long way.

Pay Attention to Social Cues.

Some conversations come to an end before you realize they do. In order to prevent an awkward silence or lull that never needed to exist, pay attention to how the conversation is going. Healthy conversations shouldn’t be dragged out. If they seem as though they are losing interest and pulling away from the conversation, let them. Or choose to end the conversation so that it won’t end awkwardly. Taking control is the best way to prevent an awkward situation.

Think Before Speaking.

You can’t control your first thought, but you can most certainly control your second. Try to give yourself a moment to consider what you say before you say it. Whether it is your wording, or the content itself, be careful with your words. They have an impact on anyone, and thoughtfulness goes a long way in healthy conversation.

Be Respectful.

Agreeing to disagree is perfectly natural. But it is essential to do so respectfully. Showing a level of decency to the person you are talking to matters, and it will be a large deciding factor on whether or not they speak to you again. And when you are about to disagree with them, be polite with it. If you go into a conversation lacking respect for that person, then that conversation will be utterly useless. Try to work with an open mind and understand the perspectives of those around you.

Ask Questions.

Healthy conversations are all about the back and forth and the give and take. As you discuss something, make sure you are not the only person talking. Ask them more in-depth questions so that you aren’t just going for a “yes” or “no” answer. This will help them engage more and lead to a longer and more fruitful conversation for both parties involved.

Stay Committed.

Whether you begin to lose interest or fear you may doze off, press on. If you really want to work towards healthy conversations, you must stay committed to the task at hand. Don’t give up on respect or active listening just because the conversation isn’t as fun as you had hoped it would be. Stick to your basics and carry on.

What to Avoid

1. Interruption.

Interrupting someone is not only rude but ignorant as well. If you want to have an active conversation, you need to have the patience to hear them out. The whole point of a conversation is that there are two sides and two perspectives, and you both deserve the time and space to speak on your thoughts. Even if you have a pressing take, make sure you hold onto it and allow the other person to speak.

2. Judgment.

To keep someone talking, the last thing you want to do is outwardly judge them. You wouldn’t appreciate it if they criticized you, so don’t do it to them. You may hold the judgments in your mind, but don’t speak on them. You will most likely offend them if you do, and the conversation will not stay healthy or positive. Judgment ruins productivity.

3. Insensitive Humor.

Everyone can get offended by different jokes or comments, so it is important to understand your audience. As you listen to them and get an idea of their standings, you need to consider those things. Some jokes won’t land the way you want them to, and they can completely change the mood of a conversation. It is usually best to avoid vulgar or insensitive jokes in general to prevent an awkward situation.

4. Getting Defensive.

If the conversation starts to flow into uncomfortable territory, and you feel as though you are being attacked or accused of something, the best thing to do for yourself is pause for a moment. Collect yourself so that you don’t become defensive when you speak again. Especially if you don’t want to seem guilty or angry, it is best to avoid all defensive instincts that may kick in. If you can keep the conversation more light-hearted, you’ll be able to steer it in any direction that you prefer.

5. Taking an Accusational Tone.

On the other side of things, you don’t want to be the one accusing. If you want to accuse someone of something but want to keep things on a healthier side, try asking innocent questions to put the ball in their court. Try to be positive and not fear the worst. Giving people the benefit of the doubt has been found to create a better outlook for most conversations.

Final Thoughts

If you are known as someone who can maintain healthy conversations, people will be drawn to you. You’ll be an effective communicator, and you’ll have the respect of your peers. It takes a strong person to have healthy conversations.

But, just like any positive thing, it takes work. Listening and respecting others can be a complicated process, especially when your emotions may want to push you in other directions. But if you work to keep calm and be your best communicator, you’ll be able to master the art of healthy conversations.

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