Watch what you say to me

Have you ever found yourself with the best intentions but still not being able to get through to someone? Or what about communicating with someone, but somehow no matter what; things always go from zero to ten quickly. There is always a finger pointed at someone for whatever reason. And overall, you feel like effective communication is pointless or impossible to achieve. Well……’s the thing. There is no one size fits all solution to this. I say that because communication barriers like this often come from many different situations. Mother daughter issues, sibling issues, co-parenting with someone you had a toxic history with, or someone that just doesn’t see things the way that you do. Most of the time when I see situations like this there’s a lot to unpack. Meaning to get to the root of the issue everyone would have to be able to admit the role they play; and be willing to fix it. Most people typically stand firm in their point of view and is convinced the way they feel is justified. So with that being said, the first question is how can you come out on top in situations like this? Do you just avoid the person? What if you both work together? What if you have a child together? What if you value family, and want to keep some type of relationship with your relatives because you know life is short? What do you do? Here’s a few things I think can help in these situations (in no particular order.)

          Be able to stay away from trigger topics. You know, those conversations where everyrhing is going good until you bring up that one thing and it’s like you both are instantly trying to figure out what to do or say next? – Be okay with not pointing the finger. Did you know sometimes things just don’t go as we think they should and it’s NO ONE’S fault? Yes, a person can play a factor, but I’ve noticed some people hold things against people so strongly they can’t talk to them effectively. No matter the circumstances (relative, co-worker, spouse, co-parent, etc.)

          Then there are times we come to a crossroad and say we’re trying our best with a person, but they never want to get on board. Have you thought about listening to their point of view? Or do you just consistently want them to listen to you? We have to come to a place where we understand effective communication is more than expressing our concerns, validating our own feelings, avoiding a person altogether because we don’t want to hear what they have to say. But rather being slow to speak and quick to listen. Understanding. Being able to express differences without tempers flaring. Disagreeing but still being able to work with each other enough to find common ground. Not calling people out of their names. Not making assumptions. But simply being able to talk. So ask yourself. Do you have a communication barrier with someone? What do you think it stemmed from? Is it fixable? Can you both agree to disagree or let the past be the past? Think about it! -Lori G Clark

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