Communication is KEY!
I'm sure you know June is PRIDE Month (#loveislove) but did you also know that June is Effective Communications Month???
If you've been following me for some time, you have heard me mention the importance of having relationships with those around us. When it comes to nurturing or building a village, healthy relationships with others are vital. It is the heartbeat of your community!
Unfortunately for many of us, we grew up in what we now realize to be toxic environments. For some, that looked like success-driven parents that worked so hard they didn't have much time for conversation or the ability to be present at school programs. For others, it may have been the unavailability of parents due to drugs or mental health issues. But, for all who struggle with communicating correctly, it usually starts in childhood, and in turn, we develop into adults who speak like children, if not worse.
Over the years, especially since having children, I have had to unlearn and relearn proper & effective communication skills. There are many layers to effective communication, but I'll share the ones I've come to realize & have helped me majorly.
Control your emotions. Whether your sad, excited, or angry, try to regulate how you're feeling and properly assess where to place the feelings before speaking. When our emotions are all over, so are our words.
Communication is more about understanding than it is someone being right. You may disagree with the person you are speaking with, but it does not have to become a confrontation. What is the other person saying? Why/what is their reasoning behind what they are saying? How can you find common ground?
Timing is everything! We ALL have things going on, good and bad. If you are going through something, speak up!! Don't suffer in silence. Your friends & family cannot read your mind, and it's certainly not their responsibility to read between the lines of your subliminal social media posts or passive-aggressive remarks. On the flip side, don't automatically assume your strong friend is in a place to receive specific information. If you need a vent session, try asking if your friend or family member can hold that space for you. Please don't assume they're always in the right headspace. Be gentle with people!! Also, when it comes to confrontation, timing is even more critical. Suppose someone brings you an issue or concern. That is not the time to list the issues or concerns you have. Bring it up another time. This particular moment is for you & the other person to find common ground on the topic they presented.
Can you hear me now? Be clear with your thoughts. What is the point in what I'm saying & how do I clearly state it? If you're on the receiving in of this conversation, don't be afraid to ask for clarity. So many discussions go left simply from misunderstanding what someone said.
I am someone who struggles with assertiveness and just being vocal. Still, over the past few years, I've assessed past relationships and conversations, and these are the things I realized were debilitating me from having healthy relationships. I didn't know how to talk to people! Even in social settings. After making the necessary changes, I've become more confident. I'm less afraid to speak up & able to flourish in current & future relationships because I've learned to communicate effectively.
Try at least one of these elements this week & let me know how your conversations turn out!