Thursday, February 16, 2006

Effective Communication Skills

Communication, such a basic function in daily interactions can sometimes be amazingly non-existent in personal and D/s relationships when disagreements or conflicts arise. When these situations happen, and they will from time to time, what is the best way to handle them without causing damage to the relationship?

I have listed a few examples of some ways to be an effective communicator that work for Me.

- Be a good listener – This is a vital part of any discussion but when there are disagreements, sometimes each person is too busy thinking about what to say next to truly pay consistent attention to what is being discussed. It takes a lot of hard work & practice to be a good listener but it is worth the effort in the end. When the other person feels that their concerns are being heard and understood, they may be more willing to accept an opposing view-point and be more open to reach a desired resolution to the conflict.

- Work on current issues and break the cross-complaining habit – Cross complaining happens when someone complains about something you have done and your emotional response is to verbally strake back and complain about something they may have done. For example: You have asked Your submissive to complete some task and it is still not finished 2 hours later. You complain that he is too slow and he responds by complaining that you didn’t give proper directions. This situation doesn’t create any good feelings and generally escalates into an argument in short order. Sassiness from a submissive is unacceptable but may happen and usually precludes some unstated problem. This is the time to have an open discussion about the current problem, not to just quarrel about other unrelated issues.

- Using the “I” message – If you treat people with love & respect, you will greatly reduce the amount of tension & stress in your relationships. Try to express your feelings when frustrated instead of just venting your emotions. (Limit any humiliation to the scenes you choose to play with your submissive).

- Use consistent verbal and non-verbal messages – Say what you mean, mean what you say and back it up with your body language. If you are saying something positive, make sure your tone of voice and facial expression matches what is being said. Only about 7% of communication skills are verbal. 38% is through vocal tone and volume and the remainder (a whole 55%) is through body movement. A gentle touch can make all the difference when You are trying to get Your point across to Your sub.

With practice, these few essential communication skills to assist your training may mean the difference between dealing with a disruptive, demanding sub verse developing a loving, devoted sub.


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