Hey guys! It's me again, just checking in with another blog post for yas! I hope this finds you well, and in great spirits as we are about to bring in the weekend!! Yeah!!
Normally, I would not be so excited about such things, but I actually have a weekend to myself, with no kids, that I can focus solely on me and getting some serious catch up work done, and therefore, I am SO EXCITED ABOUT THE DAMN WEEKEND!! HURRAY!! Ha ha. I know my single and busy parents will feel me there!!
Anyways, today I wanted to write a blog to you guys about communication. This is something that I have struggled with my whole life, and something I am working hard on improving right now, especially as my life and my career have become more public and I have started doing some speaking's and talking more to new people every day.
As my skills have been improving (and trust me, I still have a long ways to go, I am working on this and improving myself each and every day) I wanted to share some of the tips and tricks I have picked up and learned that have helped me along the way.
I am no expert, and don't claim to be. Some of these things may not work for you. Some of them you may have to tweak a little bit to apply to your own self. But maybe, some of these will hit you like they hit me, and be that eye opening AHA moment you needed, be exactly what you needed to hear, to make the changes necessary to start communicating better with your friends, workmates, siblings, parents, children, spouse, customers, and the every day people you interact with.
Body Language! Honestly, we say so much more with our bodies and our facial expressions than we do our mouths, and sometimes, we don't even realize it. Also, that goes for the people you are talking to and communicating with, what are they saying to you, vs what is their body saying to you? I know I personally do not have much of a poker face, and so when I am uncomfortable, unsure, not happy, nervous, etc., and I try to tell someone that I can ok, someone who KNOWS body language is going to know I am miscommunicating to them, and to myself. Spending some time getting to know body language is key to understanding people, even when they are not speaking, or may not be understanding themselves.
Over Communication! I know I have been super guilty of this one in the past. We only have so much attention and energy that we can give, or are willing to give, to things. Try not to overwhelm people with too much all at once. Keep what you are trying to communicate short, simple and persice.
Actively listening! So many of us have been guilty of this. We are so caught up in our own minds, what we want to say, what we want to add to the conversation, what we think is so important, that we stop listening to what the other person is saying. You cannot have a true, genuine conversation with someone if you are not actually listening to the things they are saying, and thinking about them. We must engage our listening skills first, in order to properly communicate with one another.
And on that note, Put Yourself in Someone Else's shoes! This is a big one that we are learning in my household right now, and have been for some time since our time in the homeless shelter and readjusting to our new life. We never truly know what someone else is going through. What they've experienced in their life. Maybe, it's simply in that moment, or that day, that they feel and react a certain way to things, but not others, simply because of an outside action. AND WE DON'T GET TO DECIDE HOW SOMEONE ELSE IS FEELING, OR SHOULD FEEL, OR SHOULD REACT TO THINGS. Because we are all different people. You can't hurt someone, mentally, physically, emotionally, and then decide how badly that hurt them. You cannot expect someone else to heal, get over something, move on, or adjust in the same way you would. We are all very different people and react to experiences and life differently. And then we all grow and evolve differently, and we don't react to those same situations the same way either. Put yourself in someone else's shoes, and allow yourself to accept that they feel the way they feel.
If you are already fighting with someone, STOP! Walk away. Take a breather. Seriously. That is the absolutely best thing you can do. When you are in the heat of the moment like that, you are thinking and feeling and acting on emotion, not on what you may actually WANT. So, step away. Whatever you are fighting over can wait 5 minutes for you to each get your thoughts together and communicate like adults. Sure, you might be mad, or sad, or pissed off at the other person, so go feel it. Get it out. Then sit down with your good old adult self and think about what it is you really do WANT. What are you fighting for? What are you expectations that aren't being met? What are you feeling? Now, you can sit down with the other person, think about how they feel, LISTEN to what they have to say, put yourself in their shoes, and vise versa. You'll probably find that you not only solved that fight a lot faster, but you've now developed a stronger bond together.
Put aside your damn pride and ego! Yes I said that. Yes it's almost impossible to do. Yes it sucks. But honestly, it accounts for SO MUCH miscommunication and fights and problems between people. Swallow that big old nasty pill and tell someone that you were wrong, tell them you're sorry, tell them you realize you may have been at fault and you're ready to own that. I promise you, afterwards, it feels really good to let that go, and to finally find peace with a subject or someone or something you've been struggling or dealing with. Say you're sorry. Take a page from Elsa. Let. It Go.
And when you do let something go, LET THAT FUCKING SHIT GO. Stop harboring onto something that someone did or say or shouldn't have done in the past, ESPECAILLY if you have already accepted their apology or made amends. You cannot move forward holding onto something like that, and if you are, then you haven't truly made amends with the past or accepted someone's apology, and you need to figure out why that is. Otherwise that toxicity and negativity will continue to seep forward into everything, causing miscommunication and problems and fights, because it will continue to be brought up instead of dealt with properly. Let. It. Go.
And one of the last things that I have heard lately that I've really tried to take to heart, is raise your words, not your voice. It's rain that grows flowers, not thunder and lightening, yet that's what makes the most noise. Find a stronger way to express what you feel, what you want, what your expectations are, really figure out what it is you're trying to communicate and express before you do so, instead of repeating the same things and yelling and getting angry. The more you know yourself, what you want, what you expect, and what you need, the better you'll be able to communicate that to others.
So there you go guys. I hope some of those things helped someone like they've helped me. Feel free to add tips of your own in the comments below, or send me a message on social media and I will make sure I add it into my next blog on communicating! I am sure there will be lots more! Thanks for reading everyone! I appreciate and love each and everyone of you and all your support!!
Lady Mack, Author Carissa McIntyre xoxo