After ice cream, chocolate and tomatoes (I have a weird love for tomatoes) communication is really the next best thing since sliced bread. Actually sliced bagels are but that is completely beside the point.
Words are powerful. Words help us connect with other people and get our point across. Words help us communicate with those around us and ask for things when needed. Words can be hurtful, doubtful, healing and helpful depending on how they are used. Words have different connotations depending on which context they are used in and that is part of their beauty.
I used to be a really bad communicator. Don’t get me wrong, I am a talker, as it runs in my family, but talking and communicating isn’t the same thing. We all know what small talk is, the annoying conversation we have with the man at the bus stop or with the family member that we only see once every 5 years. I think as a whole, we are all pretty good at this but this isn’t true communication.
Communication includes asking for our needs, opening dialogue with loved ones even when we don’t want to, telling people what we truly believe instead of what they want to hear, listening as others speak, empathizing and a bunch of other things. Anyone can talk but true communication is hard to come by.
I used to hate speaking up. (Ok, I still hate it but I am learning to be ok with it) Instead of telling someone how I was feeling I used to try to use other ways, you know like less obvious clues that don’t actually work. No one is a mind reader. It doesn’t matter how well you may know someone, most of the time you probably have no clue what they are thinking. Using your words is a much more effective way to get your point across.
I bring up this topic because it’s really relevant in my life right now. As mentioned in my last few posts I have been having a rough time lately and have been constantly discouraged and frustrated that things weren’t changing. I was surrounded by people ready to listen and willing to help, but I wasn’t communicating. I wanted someone to just know what was going on and say all of the right things without me having to really do much of anything. Looking back now, it’s not that hard to see why things weren’t changing.
Communication is hard some times. Sharing feelings of fear, frustration and anger isn’t always a walk in the park. Talking about stuff relating to cancer and the eating disorder is really hard for me to do. People on my support team have asked me a few times this week, “What do you need?” and I have been hesitant to answer. Communicating about my needs makes me super uncomfortable. But staying silent doesn’t work nor does leaving others to guess what you are thinking. It’s really hard to help someone when you have no idea how.
Just like most other things in life, it's a learning process. Effective communication takes practice and doesn't happen overnight. Don't get discouraged. Being in a serious relationship has really helped me on this front. Having a good open line of communication with John has helped me open other lines of communication in my life.If there is one thing that I would hope that you take out of this post it’s this: Use your words. Communication is the key to any relationship and I really do believe it’s what makes everything work out.