Talk it out…

September 10, 2008 at 4:44 pm 1 comment

I had a really valuable conversation this week with a friend who means a lot to me. She didn’t know she meant a lot to me, because we had all but stopped talking. It is amazing how a few questions and answers can change the face of a friendship.

I’m a very transparent person. My thoughts, opinions, and feelings are never very far from the surface. However, sometimes I forget that others aren’t like that. My mama is very private with her feelings. I’ve learned that we have to directly discuss the issue, rather than assume what I think she means by her tone or expression.

This is so incredibly common. How many problems could be avoided, how many relationships healed if we could just learn to LISTEN and ask good questions? Michael and I regularly have to start the conversation over, take a deep breath, and really listen. We say things like, “this is what I hear you saying” and “what do you mean by that?” Every time I misunderstand him, I’m reminded that he has no negative intentions toward me. He’s not trying to hurt me. He’s not trying to confuse me, or get his own way. His motives are always for my good. I just misunderstood and assumed wrongly. He doesn’t deserve that. Nobody does!

So how do we communicate differently? I think the key is listening. Really listening. I’m a talker, so this takes a lot of practice for me. I fail often. I hear what I want to hear, or what I think someone should say. Nothing gets accomplished listening like that!

Another way to get past a communication breakdown is to quit thinking that it’s about me. I have to make a very specific effort to remove any thoughts of myself and how someone feels about me, or what they must be thinking about me, or how the whole situation relates to me. It’s actually pretty arrogant, if you think about it, to assume that everyone thinks about me all the time. Nine times out of ten, they’re not thinking about me at all. Sad, but true.

There are so many other things to help the communication issues we face. Body language, tone of voice, all those lovely little nonverbals that say so much. I know I have to keep them in check. There’s also my  attitude.  If I say positive things, then it’s much easier for others to want to listen to me. If I am negative, people will shut me out, regardless of what I am trying to say.

I am so thankful for the conversation I had the other night. I’m thankful that I was understood and that God gave me the words to explain myself clearly. I wish every relationship I had could have a “maintenance check” conversation from time to time, just to make sure everybody understands what’s going on. What a great life that would be, knowing how everyone felt about me because it was always in the open. Questions are a good thing. My friend asked me some pointed questions, “Why did you….?” and I was able to give an answer, as opposed to her assuming how I felt or why I made the choices I did.

I hope you’re enjoying the new blog. I like WordPress a lot better so far. It’s a much cleaner process. I have enjoyed having a writing outlet, sorry for those that just want pics of the kids! I have to fix the links on my Little bits of Wonderful page…because I know you want to see the short sleeved peacoat from Gap that I’m dying over.

Happy communicating!

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Subtly Miraculous… I’d turn the frown upside down…

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Jennifer  |  September 11, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    Love the Pea Coat! Very stylish!

    Reply

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Welcome! Hope you enjoy the blog. I know nothing about the internet, except that I like it a lot. So there's nothing fancy on here, just thoughts and pictures. It's the simple things, right?
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