Good communication between people is one of the most important things on earth and it is able to create miracles.
The ability of speaking distinguishes us from other animals. It indicates our emotions, our thoughts, our character and our temper…
Quarrels are often created between people due to lack of basic understanding of each other, either because of a difficulty of finding a sentence that will express our thoughts clearly, or because of difficulty of exactly understanding our conversation partner and thinking he wanted to say something, but he really meant something completely different.
We interpret the other person, think he has malicious intentions, we are offended, we are angry and we are vindictive people – all because of a lack of deep investigation of things.
Let us learn how to communicate better.
Speak with ease
In order to speak with ease and without tense we have a lot of practice to do. We should distinguish between normal mode – in which we act and speak normally, and a situation of tension and misunderstanding. Normal and everyday speaking should be done quite naturally and happily without much fuss. But once you feel tension in the air and lack of ‘flow’, you should follow the rules you will learn in this article.
Are we listening?
Often, people talk to us when we’re not available, either because of being busy at the moment with something “technical” like washing the floor, laying our children to sleep, etc., or because of not being emotionally available and we’re busy thinking of something else. Sometimes we can continue working on what we started while someone is talking to us, and probably anyone opening a new conversation under these conditions considered that… But when we want to talk about difficulties and we want to solve them, it is very important to be attentive. It is important to take the time, to talk without pressure or stress and to be emotionally available. We must listen to every word spoken.
In order to give the feeling that we are free to hear and we are listening, we must maintain eye contact. Our posture says a lot. For example, if we join hands, we give a feeling of superiority, of “let’s see if what you have to say is good enough…” Therefore you should sit conveniently, be calm and shake your head and body as if saying: “I am with you, listening to every word …
What does it mean?
Sometimes we get angry and get upset because we attributed bad intentions to our companion. We must free ourselves of such thought. We have to convince ourselves thinking so, especially with family members (children / wife/ husband) who really wish us well. So if they were talking really incomprehensible to us, we must understand it’s not because of bad intention. It expresses distress!
It is very important that we will persuade ourselves not to attribute bad intentions. Our feelings are transparent. They affect the tone. They affect the rate of speech. It interferes in communicating positively. We must not jump to conclusions before investigating well.
Interpretation of reality
Sometimes, during a conversation we meet a reality that we do not know how to interpret.
It can be a statement, raising the voice, and it can even just be silence.
For example, imagine a situation that after we talk our interlocutor is silent.
What does it mean?
Is he angry and really wants to say: “I will not talk with you”?
Maybe he wants to say: “I do not know how to explain what I think…”
Maybe he thinks: “It is very insulting, and you hurt me…”
Maybe he feels superior: “Who do you think you are that you should tell me what to do?”
Perhaps he is very disappointed: “I’m really depressed …”
Here is another example:
Someone spoke very loudly.
Maybe he wanted to say: “If I will not speak loudly no one will listen to me…”
Maybe he meant: “I’m very decisive about what I say …” and maybe he is very angry…
Therefore it is important to understand what is actually happening.
Did we really understand?
Just like understanding the emotions, we will work towards clarifying the situation that occurred and understanding the spoken sentences. We will repeat what we heard that was said and thereby we will enable him to correct us and correct our understanding…
For example, if we say : “So you went down the street, and suddenly you bumped into him”…
We may be corrected “I didn’t bump into him, he was running after me!”…
Or another example: “You want to sleep …”
And the answer is: “No, I asked for quiet because I want to read …”
This technique is ancient and was learned from The King Solomon when two women came to trial, claiming motherhood of one living child. King Solomon heard what they said and then repeated what they said so they will be sure he understood them.
We should listen carefully, and summarize what we heard. When we repeat the words, we confirm listening, and we allow correcting our understanding. This also gives a good feeling that what we heard is very important to us.
Speaking or Attacking?
As mentioned before, these speaking techniques are activated when there is a difficulty. Usually, under this condition the atmosphere is tense. We should try as much as possible to create a calm and pleasant atmosphere of discussion rather than recrimination.
We must pay attention, that when we talk about the child or the spouse, we are really blaming him.
Let’s have some examples:
1. “What a mess… each time you mess and get dirty!”
2. “How many times have I told you? You do not listen to me! ”
3. “You are always late!”
There is a different way of expressing disappointment without blaming:
1. “It’s so hard cleaning up and immediately the house gets dirty again!”…
2. “It makes me feel like I’m talking and no one is listening to me”…
3. “It is really hard for me not knowing when you should get home “…
What is the difference between the two forms of speaking?
It’s very simple!
In the first examples we spoke about the other person and his deeds, while in the corrected examples we spoke about ourselves. What we feel, etc. Actually we are saying the same thing: we have a difficulty and it is hard for us…
In the first form there is an attack. Attack usually results in a counter-attack! The conversation turns to a discussion of blames instead of saying the statement we wanted to say.
Therefore it is very important to use the language of “I messages”, explaining what YOU feel and what his behavior does to YOU.
Do not blame!
People often tell us things just because they want to share their experiences with us. They really don’t want our advice. Most people do not like being told what to do. They may stop telling us things because they do not want our intervention.
Instead of getting involved and telling them what to do, we can bring a person to the desired conclusion by asking some leading questions…
For example: “Do you think he will stop nagging you if you beat him?” Or: “What do you think will happen if you will leave 10 minutes earlier?”
By asking questions, we will help him reach the desired conclusions
In order to communicate better with children, spouse or anyone else – we must remember the following rules:
1. Real listening.
2. Show that you are really with him and listen to him with head and body movements.
3. Do not attribute bad intentions.
4. Try to understand the other’s emotion.
5. Tell him what you identified as his emotion allowing him to correct or confirm. (Quietly as if speaking to ourselves: “You’re angry”…)
6. After a few sentences, briefly repeat what was said to know if you really understood. (Do not ask: “Did you mean…?”, instead just say: “You went and…”)
7. When speaking you should use the “I messages” method without blaming.
8. Instead of giving orders, ask leading questions.