Emotional Communication: Tips to Better Connect and Express Yourself

08 February, 2021
If you master the art of emotional communication you'll help others to open up to you more and feel closer, and more confident in you. Coming to terms with your emotions means understanding the mechanisms that make us human and embracing them as a part of a healthy life.

Have you ever felt so angry that you couldn’t even tell someone what you were thinking without losing it? Do you struggle to get your partner or your children to clearly understand what you want to tell them? Emotional communication is a pressing issue for many of us.

We know that communication is what allows us to transmit a message between two people. On paper, nothing seems easier. However, a large part of the population moves through life without having mastered this process.

Some people only listen to respond, people who use aggressive language, and those who are incapable of understanding non-verbal communication. After all, it’s not about just sending a phrase from a transmitter to a receptor.

As people, we are emotional beings that reason. In fact, everything we do and think about has a clear emotional component.

Knowing how to master, understand, and even enjoy this type of communicative act will improve your relationships. Furthermore, you’ll perceive yourself as more competent, which in turn improves your self-esteem.

Emotional Communication; woman chatting to others, smiling
By knowing how to master and understand our own emotions and those of others, we allow ourselves to enjoy our relationships a lot more.

Emotional communication: How can it help us?

Overall, emotional communication isn’t just a practice that makes our relationships easier. In fact, it’s also a tool that advertising companies use.

Scientific studies, like that conducted by Doctor Blair Kidwell at the University of Ohio, show us that any campaign that’s capable of eliciting an emotional response from the consumer creates a greater impact and sales improve.

Overall, adequately communicating your emotions leaves an impression on the brain. In this sense, those that master emotional intelligence and know-how to control what they feel to express what they think suitably will recognize notable benefits:

  • Prevent conflict and misunderstandings. Emotional communication will allow us to disagree with others assertively without losing our nerves. Eventually, this helps us to reach an agreement.
  • Establish a better relationship with our conversational partner(s). Also, the ability to communicate through emotions creates more lasting bonds of trust.
  • It helps us to express what they feel with clarity and assertiveness
  • Achieve a greater level of empathy with the person in front of us. Plus, it helps us to decipher their non-verbal language, too!
  • Speak about our emotions legitimizes our actions. In this case, it allows us to explain why they have done certain things.
  • We feel better. Sometimes, emotions like anger or frustration are buried when we don’t express what we’re feeling well. Emotional communication is the bridge to achieving this.

You may also be interested in: Teach Your Children How to Control Their Emotions

How can you develop your emotional communication skills?

The first step to improving your emotional communication involves understanding that emotions and thoughts appear simultaneously.

In fact, this is just what psychologist Richard S. Lazarus highlights. When we feel angry, for example, it’s common that the flow of our thoughts moves quicker and in a disorganized way.

Furthermore, those thoughts are usually filtered by discomfort. As such, sometimes it’s not enough to prepare yourself for what you’ll say when facing a difficult conversation. The first thing you should do is understand what you feel. Then, you’ll be able to explain yourself assertively.

Conscience and emotional regulation 

You won’t be able to give a speech or a conference effectively if you’re feeling high or paralyzing levels of anxiety; nor will you solve something with your partner if you’re trapped by contradiction, anger, or anguish.

The first step is to separate each emotion you feel, one-by-one: acknowledge it, understand it, and channel it. Each emotion has a purpose that we should consider. Only when you have regulated each feeling and sensation can you explain yourself with clarity and security.

Keep reading: 5 Exercises to Control Your Emotions

Empathy: understanding your reality and respecting it

By practicing empathy you’ll be capable of walking a mile in someone else’s shoes to then return to your own, thus understanding someone else’s reality.

We mustn’t contaminate ourselves with the emotions of others. It’s just about learning to read, intuit, and understand what someone is going through, and acting accordingly.

Empathy requires observation and listening. Sometimes our gestures reveal realities that our words don’t say. And sometimes the tone of voice says a lot more than the message itself. Pay attention, feel, read between the lines. and respond, respectfully tuning in to the emotional state of the other person.

The language of confidence

Emotional communication has an anchor that moors it, that enables it, and makes good information exchanges possible. We’re talking about confidence. To establish it with your conversational partner. you should consider the following:

  • Using an empathetic smile. Avoid forcing it. This is about drawing a smile on your face that emits accessibility and positivity.
  • Nodding your head. This way you communicate to the other person that you understand and that you’re paying attention to what they’re saying.
  • A welcoming look. Emotional communication isn’t possible without looking into the eyes of the person in front of you.
Emotional Communication; couple intimate
Good use of emotional communication is the key to a happy relationship.

Assertiveness: Effective and respectful communication

Assertiveness is the ability to communicate effectively, securely, and respectfully. Thanks to this quality, dialogues are more harmonious, and we’re able to reach an understanding and resolve problems.

These are the fundamentals:

  • Leave all of your negative thoughts to one side.
  • Trust in what you feel and what you want to say. Your truth, your needs, and your ideas should be heard.
  • Pay attention to what the other person says to you and actively and respectfully listen. Don’t allow your emotions to hijack you.
  • Allow a few seconds to pass before you respond.
  • Be clear. Short messages are more direct and are easier to understand.
  • Concentrate on the facts, not on opinions.
  • Be calm and positive.

We can all develop our ability to communicate our emotions. We just need to want and commit to the change. Give it a go!

  • Fernandez, P. y Ramos, N. (2002) Corazones inteligentes. Barcelona: Cairos.
  • Gallego, D. J. y otros (1999) Implicaciones educativas de la inteligencia emocional. Madrid: UNED.
  • Goleman, D. (1996) La inteligencia emocional. Madrid: Kairós.
  • Goleman, D. (1999) La práctica de la inteligencia emocional. Madrid: Kairós
  • Kidwell, B., & Hasford, J. (2014). Emotional ability and nonverbal communication. Psychology & Marketing, 31(7), 526-538. doi:10.1002/mar.20714
  • Salovey, P. y Sluyter (eds.). Emocional Development and Emocional Intelligence: Implications for Educators. Pp. 3-31. New York: Basic Books.