Happy Holidays? Communicating with Loved Ones this Season

The holidays bring people together- but sometimes the stress and anxiety of interacting with loved ones can take the “happy” out of the holidays.

#BetterTogether is brought to you by the Tuscarawas County Board of Developmental Disabilities

Healthy and successful communication rely on a few key factors. Knowing the pitfalls of communication, the components of effective communication, and the importance of nonverbal communication are essential.

Pitfalls of Communication

  • Lack of focus. Avoid distractions and refrain from multitasking.
  • Uncontrolled emotions and stress. You might misread people and project confusing body language when exhibiting out-of-control emotions.
  • Negative and inconsistent body language. Sending confusing or negative messages with your posture and facial expressions negates your verbal meaning.

Communicating Effectively

Communicating with a loved one is about more than words. Maintaining a healthy relationship plays a major role in effective communication. Apply these 5 tips to improve your friendship or relationship.

  1. Spend quality time together
  2. Be an engaged listener
  3. Be clear and tell your partner or friend what you need
  4. Keep your stress under control and know there will be ups & downs
  5. Add intimacy- a strong sense of trust in a friendship and romance in a relationship

Nonverbal Communication

How you react, look, listen, and move reinforces verbal communication. Nonverbal communication includes facial expressions, eye contact, touch, space, voice, or body movement.

Meaningful relationships can be tough to navigate but they are essential to a happy and healthy life. During this month of cheer, check out for more tips and information on healthy relationships.

The Tuscarawas County Board of Developmental Disabilities (TuscBDD) has resources for children and adults with developmental disabilities. TuscBDD provides Early Intervention for children birth to three years old, Service and Support Administration for people of all ages, family support services, family mentorship, and more! To learn more about these services and others, visit TuscBDD online at or call (330) 308-7173.

Audrey Mattevi, reporting

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