Communication is not a particularly easy thing. What you say can sometimes be misunderstood, and it often occurs because the person you’re with has their own understanding of things.
Far from listening to you, they are only prepared to respond. Preconceptions, a subtle way of categorizing reality before understanding it, and a tendency to speak before thinking are the most common mistakes people make in communication.
That’s why although you might have tried time and time again to make some aspect more clear, or you’re tired of giving the same explanation to someone who doesn’t understand you or the situation, maybe it’s time to accept that on occasion it can be more productive to stop investing your energy in explaining something that has no resolution.
We invite you to consider this today.
What you say, what you communicate, and what others understand
The first requirement for an effective process of communication is respect. Sometimes, however, that’s not always present.
Some people may choose to raise their voice, thinking it will make them better understood. Others are unable to maintain eye contact or empathize. Still others may be capable of maintaining a harmonious discourse in spite of anything you say.
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Let’s analyze this in a little more detail.
The style of communication you’ve developed
The style of communication you experienced throughout your childhood and early youth can really influence the way you deal with others as an adult.
- A more authoritarian style, for example, invokes the kind of dialogue that’s characterized by one-way communication, rather than addressing what has been said or understanding the needs of others. It is usually directed from the person in power to others who may be subordinate.
A person who uses an authoritarian style of communication doesn’t actively listen or empathize. They are limited by their ability to give commands. All this can cause a child to think that what they believe or feel isn’t important.
- Without a doubt, the opposite of this style of communication style is democratic and effective communication. Here reciprocity, respect, listening, and proper understanding are achieved.
A person who learns this style of communication from an early age understands how to meet the needs of others by carefully considering each word, growing in self-esteem and better personal security.
Check out this article: 7 habits of emotionally intelligent people
It’s important to listen to “what’s not being said”
When we say you need to learn how to hear “what’s not being said,” we are referring to the development of empathy, something that not everyone uses in their day to day lives.
- Sometimes a sentence is more than just a string of words with a particular meaning. The expression of the speaker, their tone and gestures, define this type of nonverbal communication that can sometimes carry more weight than what they actually say.
- We increasingly avoid eye contact when we speak. Often, that form of nonverbal communication has been replaced by “emoticons,” because so much of what we say is now transmitted through electronic messaging.
- It’s important to cultivate face-to-face relationships where you make eye contact and your gaze is wise, intuitive, and close. It’s the most important pillar of communication, because communication is designed first and foremost to project emotions.
Stop giving explanations to those who understand whatever they want
There are some losing battles that, while they are hard on the soul, it’s important to accept them and assume that even some people who love you might not understand you.
- Sometimes the dialogue can go far beyond feelings, or even emotions. Here we’re talking about values.
- Consider the case of a family or two parents who don’t understand why their child would choose a particular partner.
You can talk about love, affection, and more – but those pillars of a relationship might not make sense to people who consider them less important as issues such as “what people will think,” or “leaving us is a betrayal.”
Clearly there are countless examples of this. Sometimes what you say and what you stand for are useless to people who don’t listen, even when you’re striving to establish a bridge of understanding, respect, and affection.
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Before you continue fighting a useless battle, you may have no choice but to accept that other people will have different positions and they may not always understand no matter how hard you try to communicate.
Remember that in spite of it all, however, you should always treat others with respect.