Preface: I started writing this post when I was in a relationship. When I finished this post, I was no longer in said relationship. Although I have somewhat of an extended writing process, this is not to illustrate how long it took me to write this post; but instead to show how quickly things can change due to communication, or lack thereof in my case.
Nonetheless, in the world we live in, cash is King.IT rules everything around us. But what about in us? In our relationships, communication is King (If cash is king in your relationships then you have bigger problems. Stop reading, seek help immediately). Anywho…
Why does it seem like you are misunderstood? Or are you the one who seems to keep misunderstanding others? Did you read a message wrong? Or was the Delivery faulty? Was it even intended for you!? These are all communication blunders that we as humans often fall into when we have ‘an issue’ with someone… (It doesn’t have to be something they said, it can be something they did but that is a communication blunder too). Lemme Explain:
Communication is the thread that creates the fabric of a bond between two people. When you are getting to know someone, you are getting familiar with their habits, -isms, and communication style just as they are getting to know yours. But understand, its not just what you say, its what you do. Your actions are bigger indicators of what is TRULY on your mind as opposed to what comes out your mouth. And just for clarity purposes, so you don’t get it confused; abstaining from communicating still sends a message, a very clear one, thus still communicating. ALL communication falls under 5 categories: nonverbal, rhetoric, interpersonal/intrapersonal, organizational, and mass.
TYPES OF COMMUNICATION
Nonverbal communication is defined as all communication that is not directly verbal. Body language, gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, posture, voice afflictions, and communication distance are all nonverbal communicators.
Rhetoric is the art of speaking or writing effectively. Rhetoric deals a lot with syntax (word choice) and grammar and is more inclined towards persuasion.
Interpersonal communication and Intrapersonal Communication refers to how we communicate with those around us as well as how we communicate with ourselves respectively. Interpersonal communication is the process by which people exchange information, feelings, and meaning through verbal and non-verbal messages in face-to-face communication. Intrapersonal communication is the process by which we internalize emotions and create self-esteem; this pertains to how we think of ourselves.
Organizational communication refers to communication within and between groups. This usually involves Public Relations communication as well as loosely structured group communication (i.e. business to business communication or on a micro-level, catering department meeting with financial department, or a group working together on a school project).
Mass communication is simply communication to the masses. TV & Radio broadcasts and Newspaper & Magazine circulation are considered Mass communication.
THE COMMUNICATION CYCLE:
This cycle illustrates how people send and receive messages, verbal and non-verbal.
The process starts with the sender encoding a message, then sending the message through the channel (not shown), to the receiver. The receiver decodes the message, then encodes a response (known as feedback) and it goes back to the sender to be decoded, all within context… and the cycle continues. That is conversation.
GOOD VS BAD COMMUNICATION:
—good communication is accurate, concise, and clear.
—good communication is easily understood and is verifiable.
—good communication is consistent.
—bad communication is saying one thing and doing another.
—bad communication is being vague and inconsistent.
—bad communication is assuming and not verifying information.
These are a few general rules for determining good vs bad communication.. (common-sense generalizations but you know, some people are so naive they wouldn’t know the sky was blue unless you told them)
REPAIRING YOUR COMMUNICATION:
So if you’re not interested in changing your communication, then proceed to leave this page and explore another post. If you are interested in becoming a better person and working on your communication, then listen up:
- You have to acknowledge that there was an issue with the communication. This may mean taking accountability for your own actions and words and what you may have done wrong. Taking accountability means that you are owning your own shit and NOT putting all of the blame on the other person. I.e. “…maybe I shouldn’t have raised my voice..”; “…I could have called or texted more..”
- You have to get to the root of the misunderstanding. In a civil state, you have to talk to the other person and trace the misunderstanding to the root; what the original cause was. Then and only then will you really be able to move past your issue. I.e. Guy: “I’m sorry I ignored your messages and phone calls but I thought you were going to overreact, so I just wanted to avoid it.” Girl: “Why would you think I’d overreact?” Guy: “Because when I forgot to take out the trash last night, you snapped on me.” Girl: “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to do that. I was angry about the conversation I’d just had with my sister before that. I didn’t realize…”
- Determine what could have been done differently. This is where you swallow your pride… go ahead and do it now… and get used to doing it if you think you’re going to maintain any relationships you have. Being proud in a testy situation can easily be the single determining factor to which way that situation goes. So after you get over yourself, step back and think about what happened, or didn’t happen. Then, taking into your own accountability, ask yourself “is there anything I could have done differently?”; “Would I have been okay if someone did that to me?”
- You have to be open and willing to compromising. Successful relationships are built on compromising. There is always a little give and take… well there’s supposed to be anyway. But after a big fight, when the dust settles and and the sun comes to rise (BTW, never let the sun set on your anger, never go to bed mad, resolve what you can and go to sleep happy… or at least okay, just not angry). If you think you’re going to see change, you must be willing to compromise and sacrifice something even if its not asked, just be willing. I.e. “I’ll stop deleting my messages to show you I’m not hiding anything if you are willing to stop being so friendly with women.”; “Ill promise to check my anger before snapping if you’ll be willing to stay home more instead of go out with your friends every night.”
- Say what you mean, mean what you say. Seems pretty self-explanatory but I find this to be one of the hardest things for people to do. PLEASE NOTE: DELIVERY IS EVERYTHING. I can tell you I hate your mother without calling her a bitch or anything else disrespectful. But call a spade a spade. If you don’t like that booty pic your girl posted on Instagram, then say “hey, I don’t like that (because of A,b, and c), can you take it down please?” If you don’t like something say it. If you do like something, say it. Regardless of how painfully honest you have to be, it will help you in the long run just never ever forget DELIVERY!. I.e. “I don’t appreciate it when you talk to me like that in front of people because it makes me feel like you’re disrespecting me, we can talk about these things at home.”; “I just want to have sex, I’m not interested in anything serious.”
- Make a plan to change behavior and execute. After you’ve acknowledged the issue and gotten to the root of the misunderstanding, thought about what you could’ve done differently and what you are willing to compromise on to make things right, make a plan and stick to it. If you know staying out late aggravates your partner, your plan should include staying in. If your partner tells you that playing video games for 12 hrs aggravates them, then your plan should be to play the game significantly less. But making a plan makes you be more accountable and establishes a future pattern, its just your job to follow the pattern you set forth. I.e. “I will be sure to call you before bed every night. I won’t forget”; “I will only go to the club one weekend out of the month instead of every weekend”
Okay, now are the examples kinda lame or cliche? Yea, a little, but I prove my point. Relationships work when equal work is put into them. Yall are in it together so act like it and fix it together. If one person isn’t willing to accept the things they can not change and isn’t courageous enough to change what they can, then it ain’t even worth the time.
Look, Its pretty simple. Better communicating = Less arguments and more understanding, more trust, more openness and honesty. Its brighter on the other side, trust me. It can still get cloudy as all days do, but if you are communicating effectively or at least working towards it, you’ll weather though the storm. You must remove your pride and do what is right, instead of yelling and using profanity during a disagreement, take a break and get some air to calm down. Instead of avoiding answering your partner’s phone calls all day, answer the first time, talk, then go on about your day (I bet your phone wont get blown up and you wont be annoyed). And Sometimes biting your tongue can be your best strategy instead of saying everything that comes to mind exactly as it comes. Adults have filters. That’s one of the things that makes you an adult. You know telling your boss his suit is tacky will not go over well unless you filter that message. Even if he is cool ‘like dat’ you’re still not going to say “Damn that suit tacky as hell” are you? -_- No. You’re not. Grow up and be considerate of others and slap a filter on that mouth.
Effective communication will deter misunderstandings and incidents resulting from misunderstandings will decrease. For instance, maybe you wouldn’t have a stalker if you told them from the jump you didn’t want an emotional attachment and only wanted sex. Now look what you’ve done. you can’t get rid of em… all because you couldn’t keep it real. dummy.
Effective communication is essential, and besides, it can save a person’s life.
As for my own personal situation… the long & short of it is: I was played like the flute in that one Future song by a man who went out of his way to peddle me a dream. He went from “I love you” to me not hearing from him at all literally overnight, which is code for “I don’t give a fuck about you and wish you’d leave me alone” (I know you might think its extreme, but I know what the cunt was trying to say without saying it given the situation, I’m not stupid). After failed attempts to talk out (of) a break up due to lack of response, I blocked him. My message clearly being: If you don’t want to talk to me, I don’t want you to talk to me, ever. Fuck off. It sucks to go through those emotions but it was a necessary evil; I am now back to my unsavory savage ways… and my heart is light. I’m not Bitter, I’m better.