Does it sometimes seem like you get a completely different reaction to what you said than what you were intending? The fact is communication is hard and so much in our lives rely on it. The importance of communication in our lives cannot be overstated. It’s the difference between being understood and seen and huge discord whether that be at work or in our personal lives. And what feels like should be so easy, is really quite difficult and potentially disastrous when communication doesn’t happen or we communicate something very differently than we intended. But communication is much more than just words, it’s connection and connection can occur on many different levels. We get visual cues from others, and communication connects us emotionally as well as intellectually.
Sometimes we thought we communicated well, just to find out that the person or persons we communicated with got a very different message. We operate under the illusion that just because we said or wrote something that communication happened. When that happens it’s normal to feel confused, unseen, unheard or in some cases or feelings are hurt. It’s important to remember in our communication that we recognize that we are all different in the way we perceive situations and our world. What might feel obvious to us can in fact be confusing to someone else because of our differing past experiences and how we each individually take in information. Often, it can feel exhausting to have conversations, mostly because we lack skill. Due to this, we may avoid important conversations with the hope that things will somehow resolve themselves on their own, but instead of resolution, we and others may be building resentment and division.
Skills can be developed so that with practice, often with lots of practice, we can be more assured that what we are communicating and how we’re communicating can have the desired results. It can literally change every part of your life, for the better, making life easier rather than more complicated. It also makes the person or people you are communicating with feel valued, understood and seen. It greatly facilitates mutual trust and respect which in turn eases problem solving and decision making. It’s like friend has said, often life goes better and has less friction with Vaseline and good communication skills can really make less friction in our lives. It's important to recognize that everyone can use more skill and practice in our communication.
I work extensively with people to first see how they communicate and then provide skill training on how to better listen, how to present information in clear non-defensive ways that can promote conversation and better problem solving. We together will look at your expectations of yourself and others and learn how to manage those in more effective ways. When you have skills in conversations and communicating, even difficult conversations or communication can be something to anticipate with hope rather than fear and dread. Trust is built, with good communication, making life more doable, hopeful and positive. As our communication skills increase, we can then begin building bridges, promote our own learning and understanding with quality and experience life getting easier and better.
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