Are you “fine?” Have you ever been in an argument with someone, and based on their words alone, they didn’t seem very upset, yet their body language telegraphed anger?  It can be frustrating and cause hardships when someone says one thing but means another.

Successful interpersonal communications require a combination of words, body language and tone. “Fine” is a mixed message when someone says it with an angry tone and crossed arms.

In fact, researchers have identified universal facial expressions of seven emotions – anger, contempt, disgust, fear, joy, sadness, and surprise. To find out more, follow this link.

When someone seems frustrated or upset, how can you build empathy to let them know they matter? Listening is the foundation for communications and empathy. When you block out distractions and make eye contact, you show investment in their words. This makes it much easier for them to tell you exactly how they feel. Try to avoid rerouting the conversation. This validates their emotions and empowers them to speak out.

To learn about becoming more empathetic, follow this link.

Taking a moment to breathe and think before reacting can help avoid a heated argument or tense situation. Conflict is best managed when both parties are calm.

It is possible to raise conflict without frustration by actively listening and respecting other points of view. This creates an atmosphere of emotional intelligence and social learning. Let empathy help guide moments of conflict so that when one someone says “I’m fine,” they actually mean it.

To learn more about increasing your emotional intelligence to improve your communications, follow this link.