GIVE is a helpful mnemonic device borrowed from DBT treatment that helps people have better, more effective communication and enhances relationships. If you struggle with social problems and staying in the conversation, give this a try...
- Gentle - Have a gentle manner even if you are upset or angry. The goal is to treat people with kindness and respect. Always.
- Interested - Strive to be interested in what other people say. When you make an effort to really listen, appropriate eye contact and nodding will help others feel that you are attending to them.
- Validate - Use the technique of reflecting back what others say. This helps them feel validated when they share their thoughts and feelings. But be authentic, really try to identify with what they are sharing.
- Easy Manner - Show an easy manner when communicating. This is difficult when you struggle with social anxiety, dissociation or other problems, but try to ground yourself and maintain awareness of your body posture, the tone of your voice, the volume as you speak, as examples.
I would also add that making observations instead of judgments is a good strategy always as it relates to effective and healthier communications. Learn more about NVC or Non-Violent Communication here. Shoot me an email if you find this helpful!