Communication remains one of the most effective ways to connect with anyone, including yourself. It is a skill worthy to be cultivated to make relationships work out. Communication (both healthy and unhealthy) comes in 4 major ways: assertiveness, passiveness, passive-aggressive and aggressive. The mode of communication you choose determines how you will be perceived and heard.
Nick Wignall explained it better when he said that assertiveness is when you communicate your thoughts and feelings clearly and honestly with respect for both yourself and the other person. Passive communication is when you relay your thoughts and feelings to the other party with more respect for them against being honest and respectful to yourself. Aggressive mode of communication is when you lay out your thoughts and feelings in ways that connote disrespect to the listener, and passive-aggressive means communicating with zero respect to both yourself and the listener.
I will forever be grateful for this simplified version of understanding how different people can communicate. Communication – whether by words, action, written, or gestures – all speak the same language: they all aim to get people or somebody in particular to listen to you.
The intention is where the difference and purpose lies. To be heard, you simply need to talk, but to be listened to, you’d need to communicate.
I realised that most times, we only talk to hear ourselves out without knowing it. While the intention is to let others listen to us or hear us out, our execution proves abortive each time we succumb to the act of “talking” instead of communicating.
There are several reasons this is so. But one of the main reasons is that you could be conceited. Other reasons include how bogus the words you use are, how fast or slow you talk, the unnecessary gestures you implore while talking, and so on.
A conceited person is always living in their heads. They’re too opinionated that their voice is the only one they hear. The only voice that constantly resounds in their heads makes them think they’re being understood or are making sense — whereas it’s the opposite. This positive feedback mechanism is the reason their mind is clouded by their voice from recognising who’s actually listening to or understanding them.
It’s not a bad thing to believe in yourself or choose to showcase what you have inside of you, but you must understand that it takes two to tango. And if you must relate well with others, you need to climb down from the high horse and speak in a manner that other people would understand you.
Speaking with bogus or ambiguous words also gives room for confusion. Be as clear and as concise as you can be; people don’t need to check Google or the dictionary to understand what you’re saying.
Also, avoid speaking too fast or too slow. This usually occurs when a person is nervous or anxious, perhaps during a presentation. Be it as it may, speaking too fast makes it impossible to comprehend what you’re saying. Try to breathe or take a break in between your sentences. Prepare ahead of time if you have to deliver a speech. This would boost your confidence.
The excessive use of gestures in buttressing your point can also be very distracting. Distracting body gestures while talking could make it extremely hard for the other person to understand what you’re saying.
Effective communication is simply relaying your thoughts or feelings (or whatever tasks you have) in a way they’d get you, else you stand the risk of being the only one who hears and understands what you are saying alone.
Remember that people are different, so how you communicate with MR. A may not work with Mr. B. Above all, learn to respect people’s space when communicating with them, don’t talk over them or interrupt them mid-way. Ineffective communication can lead to mental exhaustion and resentment, especially when you struggle to get people to see reasons with you on something very important and they seem to never get it, or when it seems everyone keeps misunderstanding you. This could also lead to serious conflicts in relationships both with yourself and others. That’s why you need to figure out who deserves your time in the first place, and then think of how to pass your messages across.
Posted by: Comet Nwosu