Communication is a "big" word that has many different outlets. Face to Face, Text, Email, letters, books and so on and so forth. Communication is not all about you talking either. Listening is a HUGE contribution. In fact if people would actually give the other their full attention and listen, instead of wanting to say what they have to say, communication would be a lot more pleasant for you and the person or persons your communicating with. By giving your full attention and being in the now with awareness you are practicing being Mindful.
Its not easy sitting with what you want to say and listen. It takes patience and timing. It also shows who you are communicating with that you care about what they have to say. Another big mistake in communication is me, me, me. Why ask somebody how they are if all you really want to do is tell them how your doing? You are totally skipping over what they said because you are not paying attention to what they are trying to communicate to you. Your mind is focused on yourself the whole time they are talking which is not being present. The other person could be telling you something that's challenging for them to tell. Looking for compassion or even a smile. You may hear bits and pieces of the conversation, but if you were present you would hear all they have to say and then be able to react appropriately.
I have had similar situations myself. I have a strong accent being from London. I have been talking to people and they either nod, or say something back that is totally what I am not talking about. Even laugh when something wasn't that funny. I know they are not understanding me. I have even said, "Do you understand what I am saying". I do not find it offensive at all if somebody says "sorry I'm not getting what you are saying". To me that's showing more interest in me then nodding and smiling and having what is being said go completely over your their head.
PLEASE DON'T KEEP CHECKING YOUR PHONE. OK, I have to admit I'm to blame for this too. It's why I recognize it as being an issue in communication. I do it with my wife and kids. But its major now. We all can't put our phones down. I think we can all admit they are great pieces of communication. The fact that I can use Whats App and video chat to family and friends back in England is amazing, but....that does not mean that when you are holding a conversation with somebody, that you keep checking that fine device of yours. It shows your not interested in what the other is saying. What your paying attention to on your devise is better then what the person is telling you, and is just rude and disrespectful in my opinion.
If you are expecting a call, text etc. just let them know that you are expecting this and if the other call or text does come. excuse yourself, take care of what needs taking care of, and give the other person your full attention again. If your device keeps beeping or vibrating, excuse yourself, say "I want to hear what you have to say" or "I want to give you my full attention" then either turn it down or off so that its not bothering you or, more to the point, the person your talking to. Just pause and think for a second.
If you were communicating with somebody, would you like them to pull out their device and start paying attention to you? It will sure stir up thoughts an emotions about the other person. Now if you're talking and you're both questioning something, the information will more then likely be on that device. So say, "Let me check that out and try find an answer" or words to that effect before you go just searching without the other person knowing what your doing. How do they know your checking an answer out to benefit the both of you? We have become tied to our devices.
I'm just as much to blame as I say. They can be a very powerful tool and can also be a major problem. More and more reports are also turning up issues with children's development because of these devises. They do not communicate face to face much now outside of school. Which brings me to my next part of this blog.
DID YOU REALLY MEAN THAT ? How many times have you read a message in text, email etc. and thought, " Is this person mad with with me?" or "What are they talking about?" and so on. there are a number of ways to misjudge what's being said because the lack of face value in the communication. I have even done this with best friends. Checked back saying are you OK? Or Have I pissed ya off? With the answer "No, not at all." But it's how you're reading it.
There is no expression in a text, email or anything written. You're not hearing pitch of voice, body language or facial expressions. All huge parts of communication. You're reading words. That's what makes good writers good. They are able to draw you into what they are trying to put across to you. When you can read a book and be drawn in to the story through excellent writing, it makes that book hard to stop reading. You are fully immersed. its better to talk on the phone to the person. Now I have a phone anxiety, so that can be a problem. However, I am getting better calling people. It's the better way to communicate besides texting unless it's face-to-face.
I DID NOT MEAN IT LIKE THAT Boy oh Boy! How many times have we heard this? It's not what you say, sometimes it's how ya say it. "Can you excuse me please?" said with a pleasant low key voice and energy comes to the receiver in just that way. You may even get a smile back with it. Or a "No Problem". You say "Thank you, smile" and there you have it. A very pleasant exchange between two strangers. NOW......Take the same situation and raise your voice a bit with "CAN YOU EXCUSE ME PLEASE?" see what kind of response you get. Now, granted, you may have just had some real bad news and you're mad, I get it. But the person or persons your saying it to don't know that. You get a reply of "what the 'F' is your problem?" and a not so happy person without the smile or the nice comment. You say, "Oh, sorry I didn't mean it that way." Really!!! because you sure came off that way with the tone in your voice. Too late. You have started a thought process in the other person which has now brought on an emotion of anger towards you. Think before speaking. I tell people how do you want somebody to receive your message? I like people to feel loved and feel compassion when around me, not somebody that's coming off as a "pain in the arse", "bad person" cause of a perceived attitude you yourself gave somebody.
DON'T ASK IF YOU REALLY DON'T WANT TO KNOW. I love this one. How many times have you been asked how your doing and ya can tell they really are not interested? Then I feel guilty because I may be having a real downer day or panic attack day, or whatever and I say "I'm good thanks". One, because you may not be getting a vibe of they are asking just out of kindness Or, two, you will feel horrible pushing your mental bad day on somebody else that may be having a good day. Especially if you really care about the other person. So, in communication don't ask things that you really are not bothered about. I have come back with the I'm having a real bad day and go on to briefly explain. Then I have had answers like one up you.
I had never realized this until I started learning about myself more and my relationship with other human beings. It could be, for example..."Yeah had a bad day. Had anxiety over going for that job and...." etc etc. To get a message of " Yeah me too. My boss was hounding me all day to get this project done and I ended up with a migraine...." etc etc. They asked how you was doing right? And unless you asked them after explaining your day, they just came back and told you their bad day doing the one up on you. They don't even know they did it. So ask and mean it, again, even in writing, read it, be present. breathe, and write a reply how you want to come across.
Now, if I ask somebody how they are, I mean it. Then I read and see what they are communicating to me. I use to be Mr. Fix It. I want to fix the problem, and still do, because I have compassion for the person, but I stop and think before I write now. Sometimes its just letting the other person know that your there for them. Or, if they ask advice then do so. But again, think before you Communicate. Remember advice is your take on it. Does not mean it is correct or wrong. It's your opinion with the advice. And don't get angry if somebody says they are not sure about your opinion. They have a mind and free will too. If you have love for the person, yes it may sting, but they are not looking to hurt you just like you are not them. Don't stay mad. Talk it out.
COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR KIDS How do you talk to your children? What kind of message do you want them to grow up with? From the day we are born up until approx 7 to 9 years old, your mind, (computer) is gathering information (Program) at a rapid pace. You're in almost a type of hypnotic state. Children are more in the NOW and aware then we are as adults. Why? because children have a "clean slate" as far as their mind.
WE, as adults are still taking in information but do a heck of a lot more on "Auto Pilot". Auto Pilot is your subconscious mind that is working without you even knowing about it. This part is what gets programmed from everything that a child sees, smells, touches, hears and tastes, (5 senses). SO, what they hear from you is also part of that programming. If you act negative towards other people in front of children they see and hear this. So the "program" is being built to do the same.
As they get older and use the same tactic towards others, and it gets met with hostility, they are going to get angry emotions and maybe not know why. Well......the computer is programmed that way. Can the program be changed? Absolutely! but now it's more difficult. Its much easier to learn with a "clean slate" of a computer then rewire an already programmed computer (The Mind). It's why we end up in therapy. To see where these horrible emotions that you're feeling are coming from. We don't have an emotion without a thought' I can pretty much get my girls to help with things with the way I ask.
Their Mum sometimes says to me, "How come they wont listen?" Oh! they are listening but your tone may not be correct. Let's take doing the dishes. My wife will say, "Girls, time for the dishes" or words to that effect. But if I'm with the girls by myself, especially when my wife is on travel, I will say in a loving and caring tone, "Girls, can you do the dishes please? I appreciate it". Then whoever has asked them, after they are done I will say "Thank You girls". It shows them love and respect and an appreciation for who they are and what they have done. This tells the mind "Oh it's not so bad doing the dishes. I get acknowledged and loved." That's the subconscious "program" that's been programmed over time. So I hear big resistance when my wife asks and a pretty good response when I ask. We are both asking the same thing, but different tones and the way its asked. Its a big difference.
There is a lot more with this subject that I'm sure will get further discussed in the future. There is always room for improvement and learning. Doesn't mean you're pointing the finger at yourself saying your a bad person for how you communicate. In fact, it's not a good idea to point the finger. This just programs more negative input but it at least opens up other possibilities to make us better communicators in this big beautiful world. The idea is to open up the mind to other possibilities. If it has a few choices that make sense, then it may not follow the same spiral that you normally take. It can enlighten you, and that turns the sides of your mouth up into a smile. It does me.