Life is a journey for sure and it is a blind journey without communication. Sometimes it is fun to wonder what goes on in the mind of those around us whose lives have no baring on our own, but when it is someone you care about, it isn’t fun to guess and it is an unfortunate failure when a relationship ends with a complete lack of communication, particularly when the failure is the result of the imaginative mind run amuck….the guessing, the pondering, the placing of thoughts that don’t exist. Be it intimate, family, friend or foe, it is never a good feeling to find that someone has thought ill of you and based those thoughts on a complete lack of knowledge and this is a situation that can not be resolved. Though it feels awful. a realist knows that there is no need to simmer in a debate with yourself, but rather better to evaluate, recalculate and move forward with knowledge for the future. With these thoughts in mind, I submit my new personal tools, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF COMMUNICATION:
1.Find a peaceful time to talk-the best time for objective talking is when everyone is in a good mood. (Suggest a good bottle of merlot be served at discussion.)
2. Decide what’s important to say-don’t discuss the last 18 things that caused you grief or need discussing, pick the things that really matter the most, otherwise you just overwhelm the person and are likely to get no response at all. (Girls, turn off the digitel rolodex in your brains.)
3. Speak with the same respect and tone you would want for yourself-if you don’t like to be yelled at, then don’t yell……..get it? (Unless of course the person you’re talking to has turned up the music to drown you out, then suggest avoid conversation all together, because it’s probably going no where anyway.)
4. Start and end with a positive statement-let the person know you’re not just griping, you are hoping to reach a better place. (That’s right, bite your lip and forget all the dumb stuff you know isn’t going to change anytime soon.)
5. Explain, don’t complain-self-explanatory, no one likes a whiner (unless you’re a winer, and serving a good cheese.)
6. Use positive words rather than negative words to say the same thing-instead of saying “you’re wrong” maybe say, there are other ways to see the situation. (Also suggest avoiding words like; idiot, moron, stupid, dumb-ass, and well, you get the point.)
7. Ask for more sensitivity to your needs-don’t ask anyone to change, ask for for what you need from the person and leave it to them to decide to act differently toward you.
8. Say it just once-honestly, no need to keep repeating yourself, just because there is no instant response doesn’t mean the other person didn’t hear you, they may just need to process and respond. Not everyone works on the same time clock, so say it and move on. (If the other person hasn’t brought the subject back up in oh say, six weeks to six months, then the subject may warrant a re-visit.)
9. Learn to listen as much as you speak-if you miss the response when it comes, then what’s the point? (To truly listen, you can not be quietly thinking through your witty, yet poignant response during the time the other person is speaking!)
10. Let the other person know how much you appreciate them listening to you-because TRUST ME, when they never give you a chance to talk (i.e. they never listen to you), and then it ends without any communication, well it’s just a shame. A very good thing can get tossed away without any effort at all.
The Ten Commandments were originally provided to me in some company team building (ha!), so I take no credit for the commandment tools, just the extenuating comments. It all seems to make pretty good sense, and yet at times is very hard to do. So is the journey through life, that becomes so interesting. But I can tell you with certainty, what I find to be true personally, if I feel a burning urge to simultaneously break all of the commandments, that’s the time to duck and run……….gather my myself………and communicate at another time!