Clear communication is a concept that is critical in ensuring that we are able to make sure that our needs and wants are met. Communicating with clarity is for sure a daily learning practice in my home between myself, my husband, and our two kids.
For me in particular, sometimes the hardest part is just getting the words out at all. So many conversations are had in my head and not out loud... so I have a tendency to become frustrated because I don't even get to the point of communication and likewise, my partner doesn't know what I want or need or gets the crap end of the stick when I assume he does. Because we talked, except that conversation was between me and what I assumed he'd say, all hashed out inside my mind and not out loud. Oops...
Being able to convey our needs, wants, ideas, fears, etc. - in a way that others can hear, understand, and absorb is critical to so many aspects of life.
As I was listening to a podcast while I walked this morning, I was reminded of the importance of the way we set up the ask for another to listen.
Most of us will immediately tense up, get defensive, or think, “here we go again…” when our partner (or anyone, really) approaches us and begins with:
“I have to get something off my chest.”
“We need to talk.”
“Something has been on my mind.”
Just reading those phrases, what happens in your body?
What if we were to be approached by someone we care about saying something like:
“I’d like to share what I’ve been thinking about, would you listen?”
“I could use a listening ear, could you be present with me for a few minutes?”
I believe that in our haste and often our inexperience, we set up communication barriers with our word choices - or lack thereof. Practicing finding and using the words that plainly and kindly share our thoughts with others can be tough - especially if it wasn’t modeled for us! It’s ok to self-correct and acknowledge errors in our speech and to clarify.
When we can communicate clearly, we cultivate peace within ourselves and a sense of security. What are some of YOUR communication strategies or issues?