How Well Do You Communicate?
Something that is become increasingly important to me over the past few years, is learning how to develop better ways to communicate and connect with others. And by others, I mean close ones as well as people that pass in and out of our lives. I am thinking in particular about people that are close to us, (our family and our very best friends), and how we have learnt patterns of communication with them that have been developed over many years. And we sometimes communicate in patterns and behaviours that we are not even fully aware of.
Communication and how we communicate and connect is so very important, in fact you could say it is crucial if you want to lead a full, honest, open and sincere life. And on the whole most of us want that. I think it is true to say that most people try to be clear, concise and compassionate in the ways that they connect. As humans we do tend to enjoy giving and receiving in a compassionate way. Sometimes we may find it easier to give than to receive, but both are equally important. Having good communication skills increases our ability to live a more meaningful and connected life.
Past hurts and difficult times often colour the way we progress through life. How we react to situations, comments and even verbal attacks have a profound effect on us. It also has a huge impact on how we deal with people that we come across throughout each and every day. For me, as I am sure for others, it is important to connect in some way, it makes all the difference to my day. And of course, it is important to learn how to connect with ourselves first and foremost; we need to understand our own needs and feelings, before we can really understand others.
I have been reading about a new (or new to me) concept in learning better ways on how to communicate. It is a theory based value system, by a lovely guy called Marshall Rosenberg, who lived his life from the heart. Sadly he is no longer with us. In his book ‘Nonviolent Communication – A Language of Life’ he talks about communication as giving and receiving with compassion. I translated that so that it resonates in my life, as finding the right words at the right time. Finding the right balance of listening and speaking, and always from the heart, always meaningful and sincere.
Do you remember the old saying Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me – Well, that’s not true is it? Words can really harm us. But let’s aim to go through life by choosing the right words, and saying them in an honest and sincere manner, we will then be able to better integrate with the world around us. Paying respect to others as well as ourselves, observing and really listening to what is being said, and what is in our own hearts and to be able to articulate what actions and behaviours affect us. Being clear about what we need, and listening to what others need from us.
Community & Connection
I have noticed how being isolated and not part of a community has had a detrimental effect on my life. This could have led to feelings of loneliness and isolation. I am lucky in that I have close family and a busy working life, but others may not be as fortunate. Some people are more comfortable in their own company and perhaps do not search out others, but contact is so important. Engaging in conversation, the sharing of ideas, or even a glance, a smile, the holding open of a door. Even these small acts can change someone’s mood and lighten up their day.
It is well documented that you need to care for yourself before caring for others. The words sound right – and resonates within, but it is hard to actually achieve this. It is hard to do this from the heart. To grow yourself, to nurture and care for, and of course, to love yourself. One way of thinking about this is aiming to be your own best friend. Give it a go, try it out, and see if it works for you.
I hope you join me in finding steps to help improve our communication both with ourself and with others.
Check out more of my Monday Motivation Blogs HERE.
About the Author: Carole Langman works behind the scenes at Bowerland Cottage Holidays and Devon Dogs as the Business Manager. Her office is always a hive of activity, and with the vast amounts of work Carole has, we never really know how she gets through it all! To unwind, she loves gardening, hikes around Bowerland, travelling and writing.