Sunday, January 22, 2017
Life Lessons #116 ~ The Art of Communication
"Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters." ~ Dau Voire
Looking at the picture above of my boys, you could assume a lack of communication at our table. You could look at this simple photo and think you're observation was accurate but the truth is you'd be terribly incorrect. Sure Joshua is on his phone and Micah presumably looks like he's hiding behind a menu. Both are true statements but neither are fully correct. What this picture doesn't show or express to the outsider not at the table is the candor actually going on between my son's. In reality, while both look preoccupied they are actually teasing one another all while deciding on what to order. They had the whole table in a fit of laughter to be honest. This is the thing about communication, you have to be actively involved, participating in the moment to contribute to the conversation or it's purely a premise and pure speculation you're fabricating to yourself as truth.
Communication by definition is an exchange of information, a greater understanding of a situation and a means of connection between people. So why is communicating with those we love so hard? We have no problem with posting our opinions, announcing our accomplishments and yes discussing our assumptions with others about anyone but ourselves BUT how often do we actually sit down and work out those differences? I can tell you from personal experience a lack of communication can kill a relationship whether it be romantic, social, family or professional. Best said by nofacewriters, "Communication is actually so important.To be able to tell the other what's on your mind without fighting or arguing." See we must be authentic in how we communicate with those we love. We must listen, not just hear. But we must also listen not simply to reply but to really understand what those around us are actually expressing to us. When we sit down and talk, openly conveying our emotions, feelings and point of view we make ourselves vulnerable, opening our hearts to hurt and misunderstanding. But if we are genuine and sincere about meeting in the middle, facing our uneasiness, and letting go of unnecessary criticism we find compassion and understanding. Our convictions don't have to corrupt our relationships as long as we have humility, forgiveness and kindness in our hearts. The real problems come when we make our opinions our convictions and turn our impressions, assumptions, lack of consideration and overindulgence of perceptions into excuses for our interpretations of each other's behavior. Our so called tolerance and or reason goes out the door with the bath water and harmony, empathy and unconditional love get tied up in our speculation. The reality is "Communication in a relationship is like oxygen to life...without it...it dies." (Tony Gaskins)
Now the other side of the communication coin is knowing when to let it go. Honest, real communication is knowing when peace far outweighs being right. It's knowing when to accept an apology, and knowing when to offer one yourself. This is the thing, being right doesn't make someone else wrong, it simply means there can be two perspectives. I can speak of this personally and just recently. The truth is our family doesn't always get along and yes our feelings get hurt, we assume we know what the other is thinking and in doing so we end up resentful and misunderstood. This is when we call a family table conversation, both to be heard and to listen. It's not worth cutting off your nose despite your face just to walk away king or queen of the hill. This is the deal: Life is not a one way road, it's a two way street. This is how relationships work, you both give and in the process both receive. The problem today is our relationships are made of conversations that are made up of texting and when we disagree our arguments become status updates. We've all seen the quote, "Texting is a brilliant way to mis-communicate how you feel and misinterpret what other people mean." And it is hands down the truth! Communication is ultimately understanding someone else' point of view not name calling, brutality in the name of honesty and callous point making or taking ruthless jabs at those we disagree with. Maybe it;s time to stop all the talking bad behind each other's back and actually turn the tables. Let's learn to sit across from each other and see things from another point of view for a change. Let's explain how we feel, learn to listen as much as we speak but also offer kind words and actually communicate with each other. At the end of the day is bitterness and hatred due to a lack of mis-communication and an absence of understanding worth the loss?
"I've learned that two people can look at the same thing and see something totally different." Life Lesson #116 ~ The Art Communication...can be complicated. We all perceive differently, we express our feelings distinctively and assuming we know how the other feels about anything is absolutely self-serving and egotistical. We all have different points of view. Our lives have all been lived completely divergent of the other so how could we completely understand how another feels unless we are open to communicating."A simple talk can save millions of relationships in this world. But only if both sides will be open to make things right." And this is why communication is so important. We have to understand this difference, especially before getting angry or you'll spend your entire life at odds with those you say you love. If you truly want peace, and you believe in loving one another without judgment, then I implore you to do just that... put down your contempt, your assumptions and self made perceptions and simple love, unconditionally.
Bottom line, "we have to understand, a bad attitude can literally block love, blessings and destiny from finding you. Don't be the reason you don't succeed." 3 John 1: 14, in the Living version says, "for I hope to see you soon and then we will have much to talk about together." I love this verse because it says it clear as day, come together, in person and talk it out. Seriously negotiate and converse, don't make conclusions and gossip. So my two cents if they count for anything today is this: Stop with the texting, the posts, the comments and the status updates when you're angry. Instead start communicating person to person, family to family and friend to friend.
After all, we need to be brave enough to start conversations that matter right?