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May 5, 2016


We all think we communicate well because we are able to vocalize our thoughts. We are able to articulate our needs. We able to pronunciate our words and to all of us that means we communicate, HOWEVER, that's false. Communication is not just about getting your words and thoughts across, it's about listening to the person you're holding a conversation with as well as responding to their words that they articulate and hear their pronunciation. That's where we fail, we often skip the listening part to organize our talking points to trump whatever the person was going to say. This is a lack of communication and both parties drop the ball. Instead of talking with each other, you're now talking at each other. Usually when that happens, the voices escalates because each party feels unheard causing both people to become more aggressive. Nothing is worse than two angry loud people talking nonsense. 


So What Does One Do?


Calmly exhale and control your anger. Whatever your point is, try putting that on freeze to start at where the communication broke down. For example, you feel disrespected. Tell the person why you feel disrespected. Keep the tone rational and speak words that focus on you and your opinions. "I" statements are the best bet, HOWEVER, don't start the process by saying something like, 'I feel disrespected and you do this all the time because secretly you want to make a fool out of me. You think I'm some type of idiot!' That's going to take the peace treaty back into war territory. To avoid back to back world wars, keep your voice assertive yet mild. The best answer, 'I think you purposely ignore me and that makes me feel disrespected.' After stating your point of view allow the person to explain herself or himself. Respond to what s/he said. Not what you think s/he should have said or how you feel. Keep it strictly based off of what s/he said. For example, 'I do respect you but sometimes your attitude is horrible.' You could slip up and go back to arguing, but because you want to move forward you'd reply, 'I react that way because I feel disrespect. That is my natural reaction when I think someone is play me like a fool.' 


The Change


You see how the conversation in three exchanges have changed directions from accusatory and contempt to "I" statements? The person now hears what you're saying but most importantly they're listened to your words and are engaging in the same dialogue as you versus trying to get their point across or trying to shut you down with their standpoint. This is called a conversation, what most people do is talk at each other. That's counterproductive and stressful. The goal is to find a common ground. This doesn't mean you'll both agree on something but you both will understand where the other person is coming from. To finish the conversation the example person replies, 'I didn't know that me ignoring your directions came off as disrespectful. I thought you would have laughed it off but now that I know it irks you I won't do it anymore.' 




It's easier to ride over the road bumps, it's harder to drive through potholes. What I mean by that is, it's easier to confront small issues and deal with them in a respectful manner when they're minute. It's harder when they build up and get entangled in feelings of hate, jealousy, contempt, distrust, hurt and pain etc. Remember, what you put off today will be a bigger problem tomorrow.


Be Entertained. Be Enlightened. Be Loved. ✌

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