A web-blog (formerly known as Stu's Views and MS News), now published by MS Views and News, a patient advocacy organization. The information on this blog helps to Empower those affected by Multiple Sclerosis globally, with education, information, news and community resources.
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Disclaimer: 'MS Views and News' DOES NOT endorse any products or services found on this blog. It is up to you to seek advice from your healthcare provider. The intent of this blog is to provide information on various medical conditions, medications, treatments, and procedures for your personal knowledge and to keep you informed of current health-related issues. It is not intended to be complete or exhaustive, nor is it a substitute for the advice of your physician. Should you or your family members have any specific medical problem, seek medical care promptly.
Sunday, August 6, 2017
Communication Challenges & MS: Develop Skills for Better Communication
Communication is key when interacting in society and with the people involved in various facets of our lives. When conversing with family (spouses, children, parents, etc.), doctors, employers, friends, etc., it’s important all parties involved make an effort to give and receive information which will result in a clear understanding of one another. This can be a particularly challenging matter for those living with MS. Cognition, speech, meds, emotions, etc. can compromise communication. What we say, how we say it, and how our messages are received can make or break the outcome of a conversation.
There is nothing more frustrating than trying to convey a message, yet the other person either doesn’t “hear” or misconstrues your words and intent – all efforts become lost in translation. If problems with communication are ongoing and become chronic, the damage to our self-esteem and emotional well-being can compromise our lives and relationships as a whole. There are ways to avoid such issues via various techniques and tools to help you develop better communication skills. With practice, you can improve the chances of engaging in dialog with successful, healthy results.
There are two key components vital for successful communication: SPEAKING and LISTENING. Listed below are a few pointers from MS and Your Feelings by Allison Shadday, LCSW
Tips to improve SPEAKING skills:
Allow proper TIME available for conversation; don’t rush.
Check your emotions – avoid touchy topics if emotions are fragile
Stay on track – prepare ahead & write down notes of importance
Avoid accusatory words & statements – “always” or “never”
Use your words to explain & express FEELINGS – don’t assume
Eye contact – use it often
Remove distractions to increase attention & focus – TV, pets, etc.
Choose a comfortable setting to encourage relaxed conversation
Avoid insults – be respectful & open minded
Check in to confirm listener UNDERSTANDS; offer to clarify if not