Communication. The saver of lives. The killer of relationships. We listen to reply. We do not listen to hear.
Communication, or lack thereof, is a heavy hammer. Sometimes it’s a swing and a miss.
As our digital age progresses, face to face communication seems to be fading away. We seem to find bravery behind the screen and spout off in ways we would and could never do face to face. Being in front of a face makes you consider your reply more carefully. It makes you see the person. See their emotions. See their hurt and their vulnerabilities. But only if you look. Sometimes.
I prefer to pick my battles. I choose my words carefully. I’m not one to throw stones. I’m not one to bring up past mistakes.
I’ve not always been a good communicator hence the People Pleaser in Recovery label I’ve given myself. I’m still not great at it. But I listen to hear, not reply. And sometimes I don’t have a reply ready and that’s ok. It’s not about winning. It’s not about power and tipping the scales in your favor. It’s about making relationships stronger. Sometimes it looks like humble pie.
I’m divorced because of a lack of communication. Twelve years imploded because of a lack of communication. And I think if you sat and thought about it…you would quickly realize that all of your relationships that are no more can be linked back to communication. Communication propels us forward. And stops us dead in our tracks. It pushes us to achieve dreams and squelches hope.
How does that saying go?
“Treat people how you want to be treated”
Listen to others how you want to be listened to. And hear others how they want to be heard.
I personally do not care for confrontation. I don’t like yelling or being yelled at. I also think that applies to many, many people. Think about how you approach a misgiving and think about how you would feel if someone approached it like that with you.
Don’t be defensive. Be open. Listen to hear. And be aware that whomever is communicating with you may struggle with finding the words. Appreciate the difficulty that comes with expressing yourself. Don’t pounce on a poor word choice. Be mindful. Don’t be an asshole.