Communication is a necessary evil that even the most angelic struggle with.
As a young girl, my Dad always told me, “you can’t change people, places, or things. You can only change yourself”. Anytime I had a spat with friends at school, this was his response. I would come storming into the house, acting as if I wasn’t seeking attention, but secretly wishing someone would ask me what’s wrong. Yet when they did I would unleash my emotion of who did what to me. My Dad, in his wise words, would sit me down and say the same line to me, "you can’t change people, places or things, so what could’ve you done differently?”. [Cue pre-teen eye roll]. That was the exact opposite of what I WANTED to hear. I wanted him to say something like, “I'm sorry this is happening to you”, and agree that I was the victim! Our communication was off and I wasn't willing to really hear what he was trying to say.
“Aha,” moments occur when you suddenly understand a previous concept.
Recently, I experienced this “Aha” moment when one of our teenagers was upset that her friends were getting together but she hadn’t been invited. My response to her was, “when was the last time you invited any of them out?”. In my head, I laughed a little. Not because this poor girl was feeling isolated but that my Dad’s words had come full circle.
So here it is. My three simple yet effective Rules for Communicating:
- Remove yourself from distractions. Stop what you’re doing so you can really pay attention to what’s happening at the moment. If you sit down and give your undivided attention, you’ll receive it in return.
- Pay attention to body language. Body language experts seem to agree that between 50-80% of all human communications are non-verbal. These non-verbal cues tell us a lot about a person. Watch for facial expressions and hand placement. When communicating through the body of a text message, pay attention to the content and think about the message you are sending.
- Show some respect. Give people the respect of actively listening to what they’re trying to say and in return, they will listen to you. Active listening involves repeating or paraphrasing what the other person is saying so they feel heard. Sometimes there is an underlining message they are trying to communicate. If you really pay attention, you will hear it
-Shauna Allan is the founder of Modern Match Lingerie Inc. and The Bra Bra Sisterhood – armed with a cup of java and her favourite pieces of lingerie, she hosts a safe space where women can simply just be women! Join our community here