I am sure you know how important it is to communicate effectively. We all know how important it is to have good communication skills to communicate properly with our friends, our neighbors, our bosses, our teachers, our loved ones. Yet, it is one of the hardest things to accomplish.
Many times we assume things that are not true and then we don't express our feelings properly; we feel hurt and become defensive. We confront others with the wrong attitude, we yell, curse, cry, etc. The first thing we have to do is to calm ourselves; wait for the right time, take a deep breath - think that everything will work out fine (I cannot stress enough how powerful our thoughts are) and then try to talk in an assertive, yet calm, way. If we disrespect someone, things will not get resolved. Tensions will mount and we will not be able to express what we really need to say.
It's amazing what kindness can accomplish. If you assume an understanding attitude you will get more results. No one likes people who constantly give orders and scream and curse. Who's going to respect a person that treats you badly, that tries to put you down, that expects you to be perfect and gets upset about every little thing? Sometimes we are surrounded by people like that, and it's very hard to deal with them; we just want to run away.
Honesty is essential. Once we lie to someone, they will have a harder time trusting us and TRUST is a major building block in any relationship. We have to earn the trust of others in order to have good relationships. Of course, there are times when we want to honestly communicate how we feel and yet, we cannot do it with certain persons - we feel at a loss. Some people are so extremely sensitive (because of their insecurities and low self-esteem) that they take everything personally. They assume things that were not said or done; they misconstrue our intentions; they want sympathy - but don't want to hear what we have to say; they don't know how to take criticism in a positive way. Unfortunately, they make everyone feel uncomfortable - but don't want to admit that they are wrong or that they hurt our feelings (even if that was not their intention). We have to be very patient with them and try to understand that it's their weakness. We have to learn to acknowledge that we are not perfect and it's O.K. We have to allow others to love us and accept us for who we are, without creating barriers and obstacles along the way. We have to learn to be open minded, and be willing to change -our flaws- and not keep blaming everyone for our problems. We have to learn to say I am sorry and learn to forgive others.
Another important aspect, in order to have good communication, is to learn to listen well. It sounds so simple, but it is not easy to do. Most people don't know how to listen properly. We want the person we are talking to, to whom we are expressing our feelings, to take us seriously. To really listen to what we have to say and acknowledge our feelings. To try to be understanding and show interest and concern, without making us feel bad. And we should do the same when someone is trying to communicate with us. We have to be patient and LISTEN carefully and encourage others to communicate openly with us. If they trust us and know that our first reaction is not to get defensive and upset, they'll be more willing to express their feelings to us. It takes practice to learn to communicate; but it is essential to have open lines of communication in any relationship!
Communication is an art and is vital to learn how to do it in the proper way. Our life will definitely change for the better. If it's too dificult for us to express our feelings verbally, we can always write a letter to that person and honestly communicate how we feel. If we have to, let's say "I am sorry" and show that we believe our relationship is worth it and that we are willing to do anything it takes to continue the friendship and closeness.
And if we need to end a relationship, we can do it without so many harsh feelings and resentments. Remember, we have to let go of anger. It is not healthy to be angry for too long, so forgive and forget. Life goes on. If we harbor too many negative thoughts and feelings, our life will be affected in a very negative way and nothing will seem to work right. I believe that we receive whatever we put out, what we give; and if all you put out is negative energy that's just what you will get.
I'm Sorry... I was wrong
"For many of us 'I'm sorry' is a painful admission of a fault or imperfection. It implies that 'I was wrong', and that is the part that seems to activate our defenses and keep us from speaking.
But 'I'm sorry' doesn't need to be a vindication for one side or another. It's far more effective in making things right again than in showing who was wrong. Still, the words come hard, as if saying them reveals some weakness, some vulnerability.
Just a little thought on the matter tells us the opposite is true. Being vulnerable and able to say 'I was wrong' is one of the surest signs of strength. It informs others that we are sensitive to their pain or their mood. It's far better than putting up walls and trying to maintain the myth of being perfect. The magic words 'I'm sorry' have unlimited power to heal and restore."
"Don't hold to anger, hurt or pain. They steal your energy and keep you from love"
"When we unburden ourselves of the responsibility of being right all the time, we are free to learn from others. Just the simple admission that 'I might be wrong' or 'You might be right', can work wonders in communication." "Besides, what does it profit you if you are right and you won, but have lost a friend?"
"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential in invisible to the eye."
Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince