What is communication, really? Just today, I found myself standing in absolute disbelief as someone told me to my face that I hadn’t told them something. Now, I know for a fact that this person and I have had not one, not two, not even three, but FIVE different conversations on the point of contention hanging in front of us as thick as the LA smog in mid July.
He absolutely would not admit we had spoken on this topic. And the craziest part? That he actually believed his delusional version of events!
Now if you’re anything like me, this is about the point in time where you want to lose your shit and go honey badger on this person who needs a serious alignment to a very blocked Throat Chakra…..at least I do. Because you know what? This type of sh*t makes me feel like I’m in crazy town! People who fight for their delusions tooth and nail are scary folks because they refuse to see any version of reality but their own and they will defend that version of reality with no care as to how they do it. There is no code of conduct with this type. There is no character, integrity, or backbone. There is simply the need to defend their version of events at all cost to the other party.
There is no reasoning with this type. (Trust me, I know…when I was in active addiction, I was one of these.)
Can you relate?
If you’re still reading, I’m guessing the answer is yes, you can, so now let’s talk about communication because the major lesson in this exchange for me today was one of exactly this.
Person 1 had no ability to listen so he does not hear basic instructions given. He then gets frustrated and yells at person 2. Person 2 (today this was me) feels attacked and starts raising her voice back. Now it’s game over. There’s no hope for that conversation now. Nothing will be accomplished.
So…..I can point the finger all day long or I can look to where I can improve. And where I can improve is this: Someone starts yelling at me and instead of taking it personally, I can pause, breathe, and choose not to engage with that behavior. Because as personal as it feels at the time, behavior like this has zero to do with us and everything to do with the person yelling. So when we can remain grounded and centered, we can communicate calmly back in the face of insanity. We do not have to allow ourselves to get dragged down into a yelling match with a brick wall.
We can choose how we want to communicate!
What we often forget is that communication involves two things – talking AND listening. It isn’t about saying our piece and then tuning out while the other person responds. It’s about so much more than the words that are coming out of our mouths!
It’s about our body language, our delivery, our facial expression, and our tone.
One definition of communication states that it is “the successful conveying or sharing of ideas and feelings.”
So…..if one or more parties involved don’t understand the ideas and feeling being communicated, we are failing at communication. However, it is a two way street and we each must take personal responsibility for what we bring to the party. If we’re poor listeners we must practice active listening. If we are poor talkers we must practice expressing what we mean with clarity.
Tips for communication:
- Use I statements. Don’t accuse.
- Speak from your perspective and how it feels for you.
- Don’t communicate when angry if you know it’s an issue. Walk away, breathe, and come back when calm. There’s nothing wrong with setting a boundary and taking a moment.
- Listen! Listen! Listen! DON’T think about what you want to say when someone else is talking. Listen and hear them without your filters getting in the way.
- Say what you mean! It feels scary but don’t beat around the bush, making ambiguous statements that leave room for misinterpretation. Get clear on what you want to say and say it with love. (This is a challenge. It’s very hard to respond to some people with love. But do your best and practice with your loved ones.)