Written by DiveThru Team
Reviewed by Natalie Asayag MSW, LCSW
6 Journaling Prompts To Help You Improve Communication
Published Jul 14th, 2020 & updated on Jul 27th, 2021
If you’re thinking to yourself there’s gotta be something I can do to improve communication, the answer is yes.
You’re having a fight with your partner. They go silent and shut down – like always. Why won’t they just talk to you and work it out??
You’re having a fight with your partner. They keep rambling on and on – like always. Why won’t they just give you some space to think??
Maybe because they don’t realize that’s what you need.
It happens all the time, whether it’s in a personal relationship, a work relationship, or any other kind of relationship. Everyone communicates differently.
The key to minimizing frustration and conflict is to understand how you, and those around you, communicate. Communication is a critical (and we mean critical) part of any healthy relationship. This includes open communication during fights, difficult tasks, and heart-to-heart conversations. But it also includes communication about communication. If you don’t talk about how you communicate to one another and what you need to feel seen, heard, and appreciated, it will only cause more problems.
That’s where journaling comes in. Journaling is a wonderful tool because it allows you to explore and clarify your thoughts. Sometimes you may not even know you’re feeling a certain way until you write it out and realize, ah, that’s what it is. Once you have a better understanding of your feelings, you’ll be able to better articulate what you want and need in any communication situation.
But where the eff to actually begin…
With our Quick Dives! Download our DiveThru app (it’s free!) and get started with one of these two short dives, mad at your partner and sharing your feels.
If you’ve already mastered those (slash when you will, because we know you will), take a look at the journaling prompts below.
To help you dive into what communication means to you, we’ve created a list of 6 journaling prompts to explore.
Grab your pen + paper and let’s divethru…
1. List three people who you think have excellent communication skills. What about them do you admire?
Your list can include people in your own life or those you look up to. It can even include fictional characters if you’d like. The point is, they should be good at communicating.
What about them makes them a good communicator? Is it their open body language, their willingness to be honest, or their non-judgemental listening ear? How can you incorporate some of these characteristics into your own daily communication?
2. How do you communicate?
This may seem like a simple prompt but take a minute to really think about how you communicate. How do you react to difficult conversations or negative feedback? What type of body language do you use while talking to a co-worker or a friend? How often do you speak up at board meetings or family gatherings? Details that may seem tiny all come together to create your personal communication habits. On the flip side, what do you need from others in order to feel heard? It’s not selfish to create boundaries and let others know what you need to succeed.
3. On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your communication skills? What are your strengths? What are some areas that might need a little improvement?
Knowing how you communicate is kiiiinda important (see point #2). After a little reflection, try to identify the areas of communication that you’re comfortable with and those that make you want to shrink back and hide.
Let’s say you struggle with having difficult conversations face-to-face. Same. You may not be able to avoid these conversations all together (and if you are that could be a different problem, see point #4), but you can come up with strategies to make them easier.
For example, you could think about what you want to say beforehand and bring in a list of points to help you feel more prepared. Something as simple as getting your thoughts on paper can make a world of difference in how you approach and handle difficult conversations. This will not only help you, but the person you’re speaking with as well.
So, what are you great at and what can you work on? How will you work on it?
4. How can your communication practices be inadvertently hurting others?
Do you hold back because you’re scared to hurt people’s feelings? In doing so, you may be inadvertently harming them. Do you tell it like it is, no sugar-coating? This straightforward approach may be equally as hurtful.
The important thing to know is how other people like to receive messages. These personal preferences should determine how you communicate with them. Communication is a two-way street. You have to take into account your communication style as well as your partner, co-worker, friend, or parent’s communication style.
5. How does your self-confidence impact your communication?
Does your confidence come across as cockiness?
Does your lack of confidence come across as disengagement?
Have you found a happy medium?
Does your confidence level, and therefore your communication, change depending on the situation you find yourself in?
All of these factors will influence your relationships and are important in assessing your communication skills.
6. How can you improve your active listening skills?
Communication is not just about talking. In fact, listening is one of the most important elements of communication. Active listening means “listening attentively while someone else speaks, paraphrasing and reflecting back what is said, and withholding judgment and advice”.
Try not to think of what you’re going to have for lunch, what your puppy is doing at home, or what you’re going to say next. Instead, focus your attention on the person speaking to make them feel heard and respected.
What are you doing well in terms of active listening?
How can you create a better environment for listening?
Go ahead and give an honest, non-judgemental assessment of your active listening skills. Your journal is probably the best active listener out there.
So, the next time you’re having a fight with your partner and they stay quiet, you’ll realize that they just need time to process, it’s not that they don’t care. And when they keep talking, they’re not trying to push you, that’s just their way of working it out – they think out loud.
By paying attention to the needs of yourself and others, you’ll create more effective communication and more meaningful relationships with those around you.
Well, looks like you’re ready to conquer the world now.
Mission accomplished, over and out.