Communication is the most important aspect of any relationship; I know this is something most people know but even though it’s said often, based on my experiences and observations, I still can’t help but feel like people underestimate it. Don’t get me wrong, confrontation is hard. If I have a choice I prefer not opening up to talk about my feelings. I’d rather not point out when someone’s hurt me or makes me angry unless I know I will never be able to get over it. Most of the time I can. I’m the type of person that has to gain the nerve to speak from the heart in a face to face conversation and when I finally do, I have trouble finding the right words. Either that, or I can’t bring my thoughts to actually escape my mouth, even if I want to talk about it. Fortunately, I know why. Once you say something you can’t really take it back. Even worse you never know how they’ll respond. More often then not people mean what they say, whether kind or disrespectful, it’s just a matter of if they meant to say it out loud, at the time, or not. Even if you can get over someone’s harsh words, they’re hard to ignore. I avoid the drama unless I know it’ll be worth the stress. Communication is something I’m working on, especially because I learned the hard way that refusing to communicate has the potential to hurt you more than it hurts the other person.
The truth is, communication makes life easy; instead of playing guessing games, all your cards are face up on the table. So many problems are created just because no one wants to be bold enough to address them. Venting a problem is understandable but refusing to confront the people who consistently annoy you only adds more drama to your own life. If it bothers you enough to talk about it nonstop, you might as well confront the person directly, unless you’re trying to cut ties with them. That’s a whole ‘nother story. In an honest conversation you don’t have to worry about anyone bluffing. If you aren’t completely honest with your feelings, then you’re the one complicating things and potentially allowing your words to be misinterpreted. People, including me, are so afraid of being blunt, but beating around the bush also leaves more room for miscommunication. Being blunt doesn’t mean you have to be rude by the way. You can choose words that are one hundred percent open and honest, even if it is something the other does not want to hear, that aren’t unnecessarily harsh. Know that people who don’t understand your emotion-based perspective despite your explanation are most likely not trying to. Because emotions are natural, they are easy to sympathize and empathize with. Just because you understand doesn’t necessarily mean you agree.
People are egocentric in nature; it’s hard to not to be. Communicating your thoughts is so important because it serves as a release. You say what you have to say and in return get a different perspective to help you cope. Because we spend so much time thinking about ourselves and focusing on our own perspectives, we can often internalize the things people say and potentially twist them to be more detrimental than initially intended. In this way we hurt our own feelings, overanalyzing situations and taking what people say as jabs at our insecurities. I’m not saying that every mean thing said to you wasn’t meant to hurt you. People can be cruel. But sometimes people’s intentions are pure and we are the ones who misconstrue their actions or words because of our own insecurity. Being able to vocalize when someone’s words or actions hurt you can clear up any potential miscommunication. Also, no one’s a mind reader. It’s nice when people pick up on cues and know what you’re thinking or feeling before you say it out loud but it’s not fair to get upset when they don’t. Please understand there is no way for anyone to know what you don’t say. If that’s what you expect, you’re going to disappoint yourself. Because of this, it is equally as important to reach out and check in on those you love every now and again. Not everyone is vocal; some people need a push in order to talk about what’s on their mind.
None of this applies solely to negative feelings. Feel free to compliment others. Tell those you love that you love them and why. Tell people how they’ve impacted your life, even if you think they wouldn’t care. Let them know you’re thinking about them. You only know what people tell you. Everything else is based on assumptions and observations. It can be pleasurable to know your role in other’s lives and be reminded that you are loved.
Remember, it’s just as important to listen as it is to talk. I feel like people forget communication is a two way deal. If you do all of the talking you’re alienating the other person and if you do all of the listening you’re neglecting your own thoughts and feelings. Again, this doesn’t mean you have to agree, just that you understand what they’re saying. Don’t be alarmed if the conversation ends negatively. The way someone communicates tells you a lot about them. This post going around reminded me that any relationship that ends because you expressed how you felt wasn’t destined to last. Don’t ignore the red flags people wave just because you want it to work out. If those actions continue after you’ve addressed them, then you know it is time to end the relationship, romantic or platonic. This includes having the same conversation over and over with the same exact outcome. Don’t allow yourself to be stuck in a circle. Love yourself and learn to walk away.