Are you aware of your thinking style?
The way you communicate in relationships is often affected by your thoughts and mindset.
Can you imagine what happens when two people in a relationship don’t speak the same language?
We can assume that there are some misunderstandings. That happens in relationships all the time.
To truly improve our relationships, we need to learn more about the different thinking styles of the ones around us.
What are the similarities and differences to our own patterns? How can we improve our communication with each other?
First of all, we need to learn more about our own critical thinking styles and how our specific way to perceive the world affects our communication skills.
We use thinking styles subconsciously all the time to interpret the world and try to understand what others want to tell us.
Let’s imagine that each of us wears a pair of glasses, but with different colored lenses.
Everything that we look at is kind of the same but because of the different colored lenses, each of us sees things in a different way.
For example, a blue object looks green to those with yellow glasses but will seem purple to those with red glasses. So, who can tell what’s reality and what is not?
Here comes the magic of human communication: despite the different ways of interpreting each signal around us, we are able to understand each other.
How? To improve our communication in our relationship, we need to understand which filters we use most often and how they affect our view of reality.
For example, some people’s thoughts orient more towards the past, others to the future, some elaborate thoughts through images, others use sounds — all of this affects the way we interpret life and communicate with others.
Generally speaking, there are no thinking styles that are better or worse than others.
They are unconscious habits that we all have, and that distinguish and characterize us.
In fact, the same thoughts can be beneficial or dysfunctional, depending on the place, time and situation in which they are applied.
What’s most important: to recognize them and know how to use them in effective communication.
For this purpose, you need to be aware of these 13 thinking styles that affect your communication skills in relationships.
1. Orientation towards the past, present, or future
Do you mostly live in the present moment, or are you tied a lot to memories of the past or focused on the future?
2. Self-Care or caring for others
Do you take more care of your own well-being or of the people around you? Do others feel important around you or neglected?
3. Novelty or habit
Do you like to keep things as they are and maintain your habits or are you constantly looking for change?
4. Primary perceptive channel
What do you recall of a memory: things you’ve seen, words you heard, or sensations you felt?
What is your primary perceptive channel: visual, auditory, or kinaesthetic?
5. Emotional direction
Are you motivated by opportunities that the future holds (moving “towards”) or by getting away from something that is unpleasant (moving “away from”)?
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6. Proactive or reactive
Let’s assume you have to deliver something until a certain deadline: do you get prepared in advance or do you wait until the last minute?
7. Results or relationships
In general, do you pay more attention to the results you want to achieve or to the quality of the relationships with the people involved?
8. Detailed or generic
Do you focus more on details or are you more oriented to have a broader overview?
Do you notice even minor changes in your surrounding?
Do you care a lot about the opinion of others and want to be guided in your choices?
Or do you decide independently and follow your own idea?
10. Consent or opposition
Do you easily find a compromise with people or do you usually have different opinions?
How do others interpret your behavior? Do you see them as friends or enemies?
11. Point of view
Where goes your attention in a conflict?
Do you press your opinions on others or are you a detached and impartial observer?
12. Concrete or abstract
Do you shape your opinions based on given principles and values or based on actions and experiences?
13. Long or short term perspective
When you must decide on something, do you have a short, medium, or long term perspective?
Did you recognize some thinking styles in yourself or others?
Having a greater awareness of our perceptional limits, habits, and preferences will lead to a better understanding and tolerance towards each other and consequently improve our communication in relationships.