In our communication, we should express exactly what we think, feel, need and observe. We should avoid double-meaning in conversations and abstractional comparisons.
Many of us are blocked from expressing what they really mean and therefore use ‘cloudy’ words which are impossible to understand to others.
The way we communicate depends on our relationship with ourselves and our self-awareness - how we react to what we observe within. It is easy to mix up our feelings to what we see in the outside world.
Below you will find some rules that can help you:
1. Don't ask questions when you should provide an answer
Imagine the situation - your sister is buying another expensive handbag but instead of trying to understand her behaviour you are asking her “Was it very expensive?”. You are upset with her because last week she asked you for some money to pay her bills but instead you choose to not express your anger.
2. Remember about consistency
The way you communicate is not only about words but also the tone of your voice and your body language. They should all be ‘on the same page’.
3. Avoid 'double bind' - double messages
These are really common when we are trying ‘not to hurt’ the other person. It could sound like that: “I would really like you to come with me to my friend’s party but I am sure you would not find it entertaining.”
4. Be aware of your feelings and needs
We feel safer when we express our concerns in an indirect way. It is ‘better’ to express what we feel in a sarcastic (or funny in our opinion) or stinging form. Concerned mum says to her daughter: “I hope you are going to clean your room this month.” What she really means is that she is tired of doing all the housework on her own and she wants some help.
5. Distinguish your observations from thoughts
Check if what you are saying is an observation and not what you are feeling or thinking. When you say: “I heard that you went out shopping with Anne” could be really a sarcastic expression for what you really wanted to say. Maybe you had a big disagreement with Anne and you do not feel like she is a good company?
6. Focus at one thing at the time
If you are talking with your partner about his lack of involvement in housework, do not throw additional complaints about his long work hours.
First and foremost though - be authentic. Blurred intentions and hidden agendas destroy relationships!
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