Communication is both the easiest and the hardest way to deal with the situations that stress, challenge and hurt us in life. Why do we hesitate to communicate sometimes? Let’s dive into this mystery a bit today.
Usually the first reason we hesitate is fear. We’re afraid of being judged, afraid of what someone will say to us if we actually tell the truth. We’re afraid of letting the real us out of the bag. If you’ve spent your life being the person your parents or spouse wanted you to be, it can be very scary to actually be honest about who you are. If you’ve lived in a home where you aren’t respected, asking for the respect can be very scary! Also, if you’re feeling some scary emotions, it can be very hard to talk about them.
So let’s get some things straightened out about those fears. When someone judges you because of what you said, it’s not your fault. They’re reacting to their own personal opinions, problems, experiences and struggles in life, not really to you. Second, being honest about who you are shouldn’t scare us, but it does. While it’s normal to be nervous about telling someone close to you that you’re not going to follow the plans they have set up for you, but rather you’re going to follow your own, you will ultimately feel better about being honest than about living a lie and going along with what they want. Third, you have every right to be respected and to have powerful emotions. You can and should be given respect, and be allowed to express any emotions you have.
Beginning to communicate authentically and without hesitation is only a few steps away. Begin with smaller stuff, communicating that you will not be home for dinner because you need time for yourself. When someone says something you are hurt by or don’t appreciate, tell them gently and kindly that you don’t appreciate those words etc. Express to people that you’re happy to listen to them talk, but that you expect they will listen to you as well.
As you communicate with your friends, coworkers, and family this week, I encourage you to be more vocal and share what you are feeling. Share your communication struggles below.