Communication Tips: Seeing from different views
I talk even more than I write. My Dad’s mother was a teacher. He was not fond of social gatherings at their home with her fellow teachers. He hid from constant talking of things he had no interest in. My sister and I are past teachers and we both love to talk! However, conversations with loved ones especially, can evolve into misunderstanding, misrepresenting, confusion and most dreaded, hurt feelings. I have almost 49 years experience with conversation with my husband. We are pretty good at the recovery process after all these years. Perhaps these tips can help you if you find challenge in creating happy conversations with yourself, mate, friends and neighbors.
- No person, place or thing has any meaning except what you give it. Herein lies one of the challenges to great communication. You may look at your front room as a showplace for visitors. This is what you see in a front room. Ask your mate to place a meaning on the room and the response may be: this room is where I find my comfortable chair and tv, want some chips! When you speak from your viewpoint, you may forget to take into consideration the impossibility of your mate hearing what you say and interpreting it exactly the way you intend. You may head toward a fractured conversation. Each of you are using the same phrase, front room, but the meaning you place on it is quite different. This is where the conversation can falter.
- So what are you going to do? Think before you speak! Invest a moment or two before you speak. If you have challenges with a person, focus on your intention for communication. If your intent is to uplift, it will be counterproductive to site the irritations. Some people, say you, begin with a smile and a beautiful opening greeting. Hi Bob! Am I interrupting anything? Bob rolls his eyes and gives an unexpected sigh. You consider this a disrespectful. Your plan has no substance and you fold, Never mind, I’m going out. And, you stomp out of the room, out the door and go for a walk. Try to picture what you want. For instance, choose a feeling you want to happen between the two of you. You may imagine this: I’d like to spend a couple of moments together feeling easy with one another, that’s just what I would like. Now, you go into the room where Bob is watching TV and you sit down and read a book. You are not looking for an outcome. You are going to enjoy what you wanted: You want to feel easy. All of the pressure is released and nothing but ease is expected. You can create this! Sometimes we ask our mate, family, friend or neighbor to be responsible for our happiness. This is not possible.
- Think of your vision like living in a tower. Everyone sees from their eyes! But there’s more than a viewpoint. Each person interprets what they see through their thoughts. Past thoughts hold an important place in perception. These thoughts could have been held onto since childhood. People are influenced by past experiences, like participating in a war, experiencing an accident, living through a parental divorce, getting hit by someone, being bullied. For some reason or another, it seems negative experiences, like weathered wood, become petrified thoughts. These narrow the flow of understanding. This is why letting go of negative thinking is so important. It limits your ability to understand what another is saying. Just as important, the speaker needs to remember the listener is not hearing through your past experiences, but through their past experiences. This is key to compassionate conversation.A chapter in GETTING TO HAPPY: Learning to Read Emotional Messages, talks about a kindergarten teacher who on the first day of school taught her class a lesson for life! She asked them to make two fists and hold them up to their eyes. She then asked them to look at each other. The teacher encouraged each student to think about the view they had at that moment. Didn’t they feel like they were living in a tower of a castle? Each child understood their job to fill their castle with great ideas, experiences and relationships. They also learned to listen to ask each other questions about what they saw. It is an important chapter in learning to communicate. None of us are seeing from the exact viewpoint, so why are we arguing?
- Mind your own business. Along with thinking before you speak, unless your mate, family member, friend or neighbor is going to get hit by a bus, stop meddling in how they should view life. Likewise, stop looking for advice and immediately, rejecting the gift.
I hope these comments are helpful. There is so much more to learn but simply, all you need is love and respect — and a little forethought! Happiness is within your reach. Best to you!