Jude: The Key to Your Relationships Is Your Communication

We’ve all heard that communication in relationships is the key to a happy, successful relationship. How many of us have actually put that to the test? I am not just talking about romantic relationships, but also relationships with parents, friends, or even co-workers. Take it from someone who never liked to talk to anyone about anything: it actually really does help.  

Why don’t you really ask yourself these questions: How do you expect to solve a problem or express your feelings if you don’t talk about what’s bothering you? Or, what your problem is. Now I know communication may be sort of terrifying. If you find it overwhelming, I suggest doing something really subtle to start. For example, I would always write notes to my parents when I was little. I wanted to tell the people close to me how I felt about something but was always to ashamed or afraid of how they would react. This may have been a little life foreshadowing for how my future would play out. When I have an issue with someone I care about and I need to talk about it with them, I am so afraid of hurting them and seeing that hurt in their eyes that I chicken out. Then I am left with more pent-up feelings of all sorts—anger, guilt, resentment—towards the person I am trying to communicate with, and toward myself. I guess sometimes we don’t really realize how not communicating can cause so many problems.

Let’s take personal aspect of the relationship out of it for a moment. Think of a scenario at work. You have a team that needs to work on a big project with each other, but no one communicates. Instead of talking and brainstorming together, you are all left with half-finished projects and one or all of you could be affected by the consequences. Or you simply cannot do your best work because you need someone in another department to finish a task. Instead of asking them for their assistance, maybe you decide to take matters into your own hands. But that could only just cause more problems. Suppose the other person had not finished their task because there was an underlying issue they needed to resolve first. Now you have just created more work, and caused some tension between you and your co-worker all because you didn’t want to try and communicate with them.  Why would you want to risk that over something as small as a fear of communicating? 

There are some easy things you can keep in mind when you are trying to communicate better at work. You want to be sure that you are very clear in what you are trying to get across. Always re-read an email at the least twice before sending it. If it is a longer one, maybe have someone else look it over for you. Being concrete is important, because you want to make sure there is a clear picture of what you are saying. Confusion often leads to frustration and more problems. Also, make sure you are being courteous; I myself will often re-read my emails and find a line that may sound as if I have an inappropriate attitude towards the person I am writing to. It’s important to remember there is no contextual tone in an email as there is when you are talking over the phone or in person. Keep these things in mind and you may be surprised to see how much better your work week can be.

Let’s go back to communicating with a significant other. Here’s an example from my personal experience: I had a few months when things with my now-fiancé and I were not golden. It was very obvious that we had issues and they were not being worked on. Months went by and nothing was getting better; things between us were only getting worse. The main issue? We were not communicating about what was going on with us personally, as well with us as a couple. I really didn’t want to give up on so many years together, or on all that we had been through. I felt deep down we could get through this. So we slowly began to talk, and I realized I had a lot more that needed to be said if our relationship was going to work. Still terrified that I might hurt him, I decided to start small, and would either send a text to express my immediate emotions for something, or hand write a letter to him. I know that as an adult in a serious relationship, that can seem childish, but as I said earlier I can’t stand to see the hurt in someone’s eyes, even if it’s for a greater good. The writing became less and less necessary as verbal communication became more frequent. Turns out, a big root issue was that we weren’t talking. We left each other to our wildest imaginations on what the other was thinking and feeling. More often than not, we were both VERY wrong.

You cannot let your fears of hurting someone stop you from expressing your feelings. Try all you can to start small and get your point across. Remind yourself to keep calm, but get your point out. Give time for the other person to also respond. Do your very best to not let emotions get the better of you, because no one needs to get hurt. Starting an argument is not the result you want here. Remember, the point of communication is to resolve an issue, or express how something may have made you feel. Anger may lead you to say something you don’t really mean, or which won’t help your situation get any better. If you’re like me and still find talking face to face uncomfortable, try to find something to do while you talk. Maybe go for a walk, or clean the house. I find if I am able to keep myself moving or a little busy it is easier for me to communicate calmly and not get angry as easily.

Trying something new is always a little scary and nerve racking. Let my experience and advice help you to start your own understanding to becoming a better communicator.

 

Posted by Jude

I am your Empathetic Oracle, what makes me qualified for such a title? Allow me to explain. Wasn’t until a few years ago that I decide to use all of my personal experiences to help others. I have always been a very empathetic person and that is partially because of everything that I have been through in life. I have fought through depression, suicidal tendencies and thoughts. High stress situations, and what has felt like unimaginable heartbreak. I have a very colorful background and instead of dwelling on my past and letting it control me, I have learned from it and want to share what I have learned with others who may be feeling the same way, or going through these similar situations and just want help. A big part of what I offer is privacy. I know how hard it can be to open up to a stranger so think of me as your diary that writes back. Simple put I am here to listen, and offer my guidance, opinion, or suggestion. There is absolutely no judgement on anything you have done, or are thinking. We are human beings and subject to constant mistakes and that is okay.

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