Today I want to talk about communication, how important it is to have a healthy relationship with communication, and what I do, in my life, to strive to have the most open, honest communication with those around me.
I can say, with pretty clear certainty, that half of my issues, disagreements, and unpleasantries in life have stemmed from improper communication. As humans, we just kind of suck at communicating with one another. I don’t think we were ever taught how to properly express our thoughts, desires, feelings, and how to properly listen in return. Fear not, though, it is my deepest hope for this week’s blog to help us all in the communication realm. We deserve calm, peaceful, and understanding interactions, and I believe that this can be our reality!
Here are my tips for having more effective communication with everyone in your life, especially when we don’t always see eye-to-eye:
Know who you are and what you want: If you’re unclear from the inside out, the outside in will never come in alignment! When faced with any sort of interaction, it’s crucial to have a strong understanding of who you are, and what your true desires are.
Say what you mean, and don’t play games Often times, we feel afraid to say what we actually mean, for fear of negative retribution, but when we aren’t 100% clear with our words, things go haywire. It’s always best to say what you mean, and avoid word gimmicks that try to manipulate a person or a situation.
Choose your words wisely: It’s really easy to let words come out of our mouths without fully thinking of what they mean and what they represent. Have such a keen sense of awareness that the words you speak always align with your heart, soul, and intentions.
Be present in every interaction: So much miscommunication comes from us not being present to our own interactions! There have been countless times I’ve ended up in an argument because I’m on my phone in the middle of an important conversation, and missed a needed detail. Being present not only saves you time, it lets the other person or group of people know that you care and that you value the time spent in dialogue.
Take responsibility: Being responsible for proper communication has been a big one for me personally. There have been many times when I have sensed that the person I’m in conversation with, and I are not actually on the same page, and we begin talking without addressing the confusion, hoping it might simply, magically, sort itself out. Waiting for someone else to clarify a situation is annoying and time consuming. If you sense that thoughts and words aren’t clear, take it upon yourself to reach out, speak up, in whatever form of communication needed, to clear the air, and set up a solid foundation for that communication and relationship to flourish.
Ask questions: There’s a post on social media of a person who, in conversation, asks “what?” so many times before finally giving up. I tend to be that person, but the truth of the matter is, asking questions brings clarity. If there are pieces of your conversational puzzle that don’t make sense, it’s on you to ask for more detail and clarity! You are not wrong, and you are not an inconvenience when you ask for more information in any circumstance.
Be vulnerable: We are all human beings, with thoughts, feelings, emotions, and sensitivities. Think about this when communicating with someone else. When we enter a situation with armor and an ironclad wall around us, we get that type of communication in return. Breaking down barriers, by being vulnerable is a wonderful way to connect with someone, and again, it saves everyone time.
Tell the truth: It has become increasingly more clear to me how much I really dislike lying: any version of it. So when I sense someone isn’t telling the full truth, or is pitching a half-truth, or is straight up telling no version of the truth, I shut down. I can’t take it. Telling the truth, even when it’s hard, is a sign of respect. The truth might not always be an easy pill to swallow, but I guarantee it is always worthwhile.
Be silent: Sometimes interactions require silence, where we can step back, contemplate, marinate, and then speak again. There have been so many times in my life where I wish I had taken moments of silence to collect myself, rather than spewing out the first words that came to mind.
Take space: In any circumstance, it is always okay to take space from a situation to collect yourself, get clear on what you want to say, and come back in a calm and composed way. I find that whenever I allow myself the space to sit, breathe, and understand, the outcomes of the situation always feel more resolved and aligned.
I hope these powerful reminders help you in life and in your communications! Remember, we are all approaching situations with our own unique circumstances and life experiences, so we will never fully see a situation with the same set of eyes, but I believe if we start to incorporate some of these tactics into our every day lives, we will see the benefits of understanding, patience, and kindness.
Michelle is Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's Creative Director and resident writer. She has a degree in Journalism from Indiana University and is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered yoga teacher with trainings with Anuttara Yoga Shala and Strala Yoga. Michelle has a deep desire to help people find happiness in all areas of their lives, and truly believes the Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life movement will bring lasting change to the world. Michelle splits her time between Florida and New York City and loves connecting with people from all over the world. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org