Once upon a time, there was an inaccurate representation of communication in every princess story ever.
Prince Charming didn’t apologize to Cinderella for not being a good listener & Snow White didn’t express her frustration over not having time to herself.
Simple and positive story lines make the world go round, but they don’t encourage the importance of clear communication.
We talk a lot in our house – like, a lot. We spend hours diving into the depths of understanding why our conversations get off track. But talking doesn’t automatically make communication easier.
Talking and communicating are two different things.
Talking is fluff while communicating requires focus to effectively share our thoughts with another person.
There are a few communication basics we stand by:
They cannot read your mind: No matter how long you have known someone or how much you love them, they are not a mind reader. If you are flustered by an individual’s actions, I promise they will not know unless you tell them. It’s easy to assume someone you are close with will know what you’re thinking, but that’s just not how it works.
It is a two-way street: Remember that while a one-sided conversation can feel empowering, the person listening is impacted by your words and needs to have the opportunity to respond. There is no “winner” or “loser”, there are simply two individuals with a need to be heard. Be gracious in your listening – it’s about listening to understand, not to reply.
“I’m sorry” is powerful: This takes a posture of humility. It’s not easy to do. Sharing these words with someone changes the trajectory of a conversation because it softens the need to defend one’s self. It clears the path to revisit your individual viewpoints from an interaction.
We are humans & we won’t get this right every time.
However, we are intelligent and capable of remembering these basic laws of communication.
John Powell said: “Communication works for those who work at it.”
Good communication takes work and energy – but the people you love are worth it. Reframe your conversations and it will change your relationships.