When was the last time that somebody said something to you that just seemed to ‘rub you the wrong way?’ Maybe it was your boss, a teacher, your son or daughter, maybe even your spouse! It wasn’t necessarily what they said…it was how they said it. For the sake of this blog, we are going to just talk about, talking. When we speak, we include other aspects of communication that are not typically found in texts, emails, chats, and old fashion letters.
So, what are those nuances in our verbal communication that impact the way we receive the message?
- Consider for a moment what it ‘feels’ like when somebody raises their voice (YELLS!) at you…
- Or, that tone of sarcasm that comes through, even though the words seemed o.k.
- When a sentence starts with the word, ‘YOU,’ what do you think is getting ready to come next—probably not a compliment.
- Name calling?Forget anything productive happening after that one.
If you are not in a military setting, where it may serve a purpose on the battlefield or in the barracks, ‘barking orders’ at home probably doesn’t provide an environment that motivates one’s ‘get-up-and-go.’ Relational communication is the better way to go. What does that look like? How do we do it? Why do we do it? For whom do we do it?
Think about if you are the receiver of the message, how would you like to be addressed? Respect, courtesy, consideration, benefit of the doubt, understanding, empathy, compassion, interest, diplomacy, grace, are some words that come to mind. Our statements do not have to be of a ‘warm and fuzzy,’ nature, necessarily. We can be direct, while showing respect. We can get to the point, and be courteous. We can provide instruction, without being insulting or offensive.
The word, ‘you,’ was mentioned, earlier. For a better chance of hearing and receiving the delivery of a message, the word, “I,” becomes key, also referred to as an “I” message. “I” messages look something like this…“I feel (insert word of feeling/emotion), when, (insert word of behavior/event/circumstance), because, (result/effect/consequence).”
Example: “I feel great after reading these blogs, because afterward, I am so much smarter!” Just an example, mind you.
- Another example, though, of a message delivery is a dialogue between a couple:
‘I get frustrated when I don’t get an answer, after I ask you something, because then I start to think that you don’t care.’
That will probably go a lot better than saying to the other, ‘You’re an uncaring, JERK!’ (it may feel better saying this, but only for a moment…not really worth it).
So, this is the ‘tease,’ blog, just to get you thinking; “how do others communicate with me?” “How do I communicate with others?” It’s time to start thinking about becoming a better messenger.
For those interested in honing those communication skills, keep checking into the MillerCounselingServices.com website, for events, workshops, and/or appointments with our staff, to further explore, how, you too, can be a better messenger!
~Author: Mr. David Wiley, MS, LPC for Miller Counseling Services, PC