Here's another key to good communication that you can use at home or in the workplace... you've gotta OWN it!
Have you ever been in a discussion with someone that doesn't admit to any wrongdoing? This is often very frustrating, and doesn't lead to mutual understanding.
Research indicates that when the outcome is bad, people often blame external & uncontrollable sources. When the outcome is good, we often credit internal sources. For example, if a team loses a game, the officials often get the blame (external & uncontrollable). But if the team wins, the team's hardwork and talent are credited (internal). (Yes, communication students, this is the self-serving bias!)
In a good argument, we want ownership. One time, I told a friend that her actions had hurt my feelings. She responded, "Well I'm not perfect." Grrrrrrr. What a way to make this situation even worse! What would have resolved this? Ownership. "I'm sorry." "I didn't intend to make you feel this way." If you want to make the situation better, don't point the finger to something external & uncontrollable.