by Doris Jucht
When it comes to telling others what we think or how we feel, the fear of an adverse reaction from the other person can stop us from being completely open and honest. And that is precisely how we can start a vicious cycle of dysfunctional communication resulting in undesired consequences.
Arguably, we do not have the mind-reading skills necessary to predict how another human being is going to react to our message. If that were the case, the world would be a much more peaceful and quieter place most of the time.
While we may not have superhuman powers to rely on, we do have the capacity to make choices. We have the option to decide if we are willing to assume the consequences of what we do and what we say. Ultimately, we can be accountable for our actions and for the words that come out of our mouths.
There are many ways and styles of sharing our thoughts with others. One could say that this individuality should be respected and appreciated, which could be right, as long as we aren’t hurting the message receiver.
All this doesn’t mean that we should not say what we want or what we think; it means that we have to pay attention to the way we say things. A combination of words, choices, tone, timing, and moreover, intention, conforms a communication mix that is often the key to cultivating good relationships.
The intention of our message will set the outcome even more than what is said. The real aim—the root of the thought and the purpose of the content—will make itself known through the words, the tone, and the timing to create the perfect reaction of the message recipient. That is a gift all human beings have, the benefits of which are commonly underestimated and usually ignored.
No matter how much effort we put into hiding our real intentions, the effect will always honor that purpose. We can go around that aim by looking for excuses, masking it with other topics, or covering it up with tangible reasons. But in the end, the outcome will only obey the core intention of the message.
With that said, instead of juggling various tactics in order to conceal the truth, stop for a second and think about the real reasons why you want to say something. Then, look for the right way of doing it—making sure no one is going to get hurt or negatively affected by your words.
How does it feel to know the real feelings of the person we have in front of us? Isn’t it useful to be aware of how others genuinely think? How much weight is lifted off our shoulders when we say things coming from love and understanding instead of from fear, doubt and guesswork.
Every single thing we have to say reflects the expectations we have. If our real aim is for the other person to know we care about them, then our words will say so somehow. But if our true intention is to make the other person feel bad, angry or even wounded, then that’s what every phrase will achieve.
Let’s make life easier by improving our communication skills, including identifying the root purpose of the messages we want to give out. Just try telling someone what you want and what you need and you will see how receptive and helpful people can be. Don’t pretend others can be mind-readers; they usually are not. One can develop excellent intentional communication skills by practicing mindful conversations with the people around them.
In some cases, lack of this ability is the consequence of past trauma, the way we were raised, and cultural behaviors. In all these cases, a favorable outcome could be attained by reaching for professional help to develop specific, intentional communication skills.
Take the first step to help. Call or email for a free phone consultation and live the life you were meant to lead.
Life Coach Doris Jucht brings nearly 20 years of experience helping clients through some of their most challenging moments in life. For a free phone consultation, call 305-332-5832, email [email protected] or visit LifeCoachDoris.com.