Six Tips for Positive Communication with Family and Friends

Adjusting to life with vision loss is frustrating and stressful for both your group members and those who have close relationships with them.

Often, unclear expectations and negative feelings can lead to misunderstandings and result in a person not receiving the help needed to begin or continue the adjustment process.

When everyone makes a special effort to communicate clearly and positively, it promotes healthy relationships where both parties feel validated.   If your groups members are having difficulty getting their family or friends to understand their needs or wants, here are some suggestions they can try to promote positive communication so everyone is on the same page:

1.  Set aside a time to talk 
Setting aside time to have an honest and thoughtful conversation can go a long way in relieving anxiety and stress.

2.  Be a good listener
Listen and acknowledge fears, feelings and concerns for both people.

3.  Ask questions
Ask for and acknowledge fears and concerns.

4.  Be specific
Try to get to the heart of the matter citing specific examples.  Try to avoid words like “always” and “never.”

5.  Make a plan 
Agree on ways the specific issues can be resolved.

6.  Follow Up
After your discussion, check back to make sure things are going more smoothly.  Acknowledge positive changes and say “thank you!”