Photo Courtesy: http://www.npr.org
Did you know that effective communication is very effective?
Did you know that it does not make you any less of the man/woman you are?
That speaking out doesn’t make your pizza any less tastier?
That opening up does not make you lose any body-part?
That talking honestly does not reduce the balance you have in your bank account?
Yet importantly, did you know, that most problems are caused by lack of communication?
That a lot of problems could be avoided if we actually, literally, realistically, honestly and frankly TALKED?
So my mother has always been preaching about communication, “C.O.M.M.U.N.I.C.A.T.E! What do you lose when you do?” She’d say. I can almost hear her voice echoing the words 😀 But then isn’t this something that we should actually think about more deeply?
How many ugly scenarios can we avoid if we actually talk, open up, communicate? Most of the divorces, friendship break-ups, job loss, strained family relationships are because of miscommunication, or the entire lack of it, or the failure to understand what is being communicated.
So here are several scenarios:
I have some urgent work that should be submitted by this afternoon. I am not getting any close to finishing it by that time. It is IMPOSSIBLE to have it in time even if I had these supernatural powers of superman. But there is a client waiting for it. They will probably get mad for your lateness. They will probably blow your phone with insults. It doesn’t make it much better informing them that there will be a delay. But there will be one difference; you prepared them in advance. You will have given them room to find another solution or alternative ways to deal with the situation. They might even be understanding enough to grant you some more hours to finish up what is required of you.
Your friend has messed up. It could be a small one or a big one doesn’t matter. So you decide it is best to just shut them out of your life. No explanation. No goodbyes. Not even a ‘You betrayed me’ note lol. For real though, how do you expect someone to know how badly they’ve wronged you if you don’t tell them so? Well, some things may be obvious. It could be an open mistake but then once you speak it out to them, you give them room to justify themselves. Okay maybe sometimes it is not worth it, but sometimes it is. Perhaps listening to them will give you a fresh new point of view that you never thought about. Perhaps, it was just a humanly slip. Perhaps they deserve another chance from you. Perhaps you may even decide to forgive them…how will you know if you have let your ego possess you and right now no one is more right than you?
So we are working on something, it’s team work. Obviously at some point you and I will have different opinions or thoughts. You tell me your thoughts and I realize they are different from my own thoughts. Instead of discussing it through like adults, I decide to frown silently and just go mute. Hallo?? This is called TEAM work for a reason. Each individual is supposed to bring something on the table. Misunderstandings, differences are most probably going to happen. It’s almost an obvious thing. But do you discuss it out maturely or does each individual grump silently and let the work get messed up??
You heard something about me, or something I said about you. You heard ‘rumours’, you heard ‘grapevine’ as we call it but you never bother confirm the information with me. You never inquire if it is true, if it is accurate, if there is probably a sensible justification behind it.
These scenarios are too many, they could fill up my entire website. Main point is, always try to talk it out; in fact, it should be without any persuasion. You had a bad day and it ruined your mood? Tell your husband so. Don’t let him keep guessing what he did in the past twenty four hours that could have ruined your moods. You don’t like what I am saying? Tell me so, in a kind way. Tell me your thoughts. We don’t always have to have the ‘right answer’ or the ‘winner’. We can still be friends with different opinions. Can’t make it to the event or you just don’t want to attend? Stop beating about the bush and be honest. You don’t like someone’s behaviour? Advise them, in a good way. You can’t pay up the debt in time? Excuse yourself before your time is due instead of switching off your phone and ignoring someone’s texts.Will be absent at work? Call at work early enough and avoid any inconveniences.
I mean, don’t people understand the value of words. How when used kindly and appropriately, we could be a better world right now? Imagine if we opted for peace reconciliations rather than war? If we opted for what-went-wrong discussions rather than divorce? If we decided to be honest about what we feel about someone or their actions or their words? Just think about it. What if you decided to go sit with your mother, whom you are always in a fight with, and directly ask her what doesn’t she like in you or what could possibly be so wrong in your behaviour? Or what if you approached your cousin and cleared the air from the grudge you two have been holding for years on?? What if you were honest that you are still in bed rather than lie to someone who’s been waiting for you for two hours already? Don’t you think telling them in advance would save them some heat and maybe they’d find a place to use their time more effectively while waiting for you? (Hallo there late-comers 😀 )
It’s true that sometimes talking it out may not bring out any results but maybe it is worth the try?? Don’t allow your ego to stop you from reaching out to other people and straightening things with them. Just give it a try…after that, whatever happens, will not be upon you anymore for you’d have played your part.
Speaking out doesn’t necessarily mean blurting your thoughts out like diarrhea or being rude and arrogant. It just means you need to be straight forward; about your thoughts, feelings, opinions…you never have to make anyone keep guessing because they already know, if so and so had a problem with me, they’d have approached me about it. It keeps you on the clear. It keeps you away from avoidable misunderstandings and grudges. It makes you honest. It grants you a peace of mind. Sooo…talk it out maybe??