Do you have trouble finding the words sometimes? It’s a funny question, because we aren’t actually searching for words. We have the words, what we are searching for are is how to insert the words into the conversation at the exact right moment to convey our message in the exact way we feel it needs to be articulated. That’s exhausting!
On the flipside of that coin, when we are careless with our insertion of words, we run the risk of getting lost in translation. An emotional response can cause the recipient to put earmuffs on, change the focus of the conversation and our message is entirely lost. Getting your point across is almost impossible! You can’t win for losing, right?
Or what if there is a different, less exhausting way to communicate? What if we pause, take a breath, pull the words together, and present them to another without fear of rejection or reaction? How, you ask? Let’s take a look.
Ruby was up all night waiting for her seventeen-year-old daughter to come home after she could not reach her daughter on the phone. For added fun, her daughter came home drunk. Take a minute to imagine the whirlwind of emotions swirling around. As much as she would have loved to scream out the list of thoughts running through her mind, Ruby decided to send her daughter to bed. She decided to take a breath and take a minute.
The next morning, Ruby peacefully watched the sunrise on her back porch and with no yelling involved she had a conversation with her daughter. A conversation being one of listening and sharing. A conversation is not sharing then drafting your next response. They ended with a hug and a threat of violence if the behavior continued. Bottom line, each part was heard, love was shared and boundaries were identified. A winning combination!
Ruby did a lot of good things here – she took a minute, not reacting immediately. She took a breath and focused her thoughts. She meditated sitting in nature, interacting with her higher power. She used “I statements” when expressing herself. And most important, she LISTENED.
Communication does not have to be exhausting, though it should be thoughtful. Be mindful of your words, but there is no perfect way to say it. There is no perfect time to express it. You cannot control how others receive you, because they too have a whole process and agenda going on in their mind when you are trying to get them to see it your way. Take a breath. Use your words. Then toss out your message and be ready to listen. Imperfect practitioners of self-care are effective communicators (full circle moment). Have a great day!