3 ways to be a more active and constructive communicator:
Consider your body language
After reflecting on that disappointing conversation with my husband, I now always try to turn my eyes, my feet, and my shoulders towards any person I'm engaging with. This simple shift in body language brings more warmth and commitment to the interaction and instantly shows your companion that they matter to you.
Unplug for a moment
I know families that have a 'digital sunset'. From dinnertime, they won't allow phones to be within reach - they have a phone box in the kitchen and that's where devices stay during the meal. At work, I simply try to lower my laptop screen or put down my phone and stop multitasking when a colleague comes to talk to me. These are both simple ways of showing the person they have my full attention.
Ask more questions
I'm often rushing between meetings or trying to get home to the kids, but being busy can no longer be an excuse for poor interactions. Instead I'm using the little trick of asking open-ended questions as a deliberate way to slow down and elevate my engagement with the people in my life. I want to show them I value their time and I really care.
By doing these small things in your interactions with others, you'll experience far more authentic conversations that will deepen your connections and improve the relationships around you. Not surprisingly, your own sense of personal belonging will likely improve, too. Think about it ¬- the flow on effect at a societal level would be enormous.