Being a caregiver brings a lot of stress into your life. That stress can become so big that it interferes with your ability to communicate with other people you care about. These ideas can help you to examine what you’re doing while you’re communicating and how you can make small changes that make a difference.
Listen a Lot More
When you’re stressed and not feeling heard, your first impulse might be to talk louder or to assert yourself more to ensure that you’re heard, somehow. Try to fight that urge and start actively listening more. The other person may be in the same boat, feeling unheard. When you hear them out and listen to what they’re saying, you might actually hear something you didn’t before. You also have a better chance at getting the other person to listen to you.
Use Different Words and Watch How You’re Phrasing Things
Also, when you’re not being heard, sometimes that’s because of the word choice you’re using. Rephrase what you’re saying, using synonyms. That might feel like effort you shouldn’t have to expend, but you might be surprised how often hearing something phrased differently makes more sense to someone else.
Stop Conversational Drift
Something else that causes communication problems is conversational drift. That’s when you start trying to talk about one topic and the conversation veers off into other topics. This can happen with regular conversations and with arguments, too. Either way it’s distracting and keeps you from accomplishing what you need to get done. Do what you can to stick with the topic at hand. You can always talk about something else afterward.
Step Back When it’s Not Going Well
When conversations are going spectacularly badly, it’s time to back away for a bit. Find a way to come to a mutual break in the action for now. It might even be a good idea for you to find the time as soon as possible to take an actual break from caregiving and from everything else. After a break, you may feel clear-headed enough to be able to talk about whatever is going on from a much more productive perspective.
Stress does a number on so many aspects of your life, but it can especially hamper communication. Take the time to examine how you’re trying to communicate right now and what you can do to make those conversations easier and more effective.
When you are in need of care for a senior loved one, consider caregivers provided by Golden Heart Senior Care. We have offices nationwide. For more information, call us today at (800) 601-2792.