This is definitely a loaded subject. There are so many ways this can go about so many things. Communicating with love ones, business associates, job interviews, friends; the list goes on and on. And each circumstance seems to require different skills. The suggestion to “speak from your heart” doesn’t always appear to be the best choice.
I know there are some circumstances that push my buttons and make me feel defensive and angry and then I close down to any clear communication. And there are close relationships that allow me to push the envelope when I know I shouldn’t. Or it’s become such a pattern that I’m not even aware of it anymore.
And that’s when I think I should be more aware of the patterns so that I can think before I speak. When you have known someone for a long time or it’s a family member it’s seems that the mind slips into the automatic mode. The mode that knows how to maneuver, or a less desirable term, manipulate. The game of manipulation starts moving back and forth like a chess game. My gut knows what is going on but my head tells me differently. My head tells me what I would like to hear instead of what is actually being said.
So of course, the fair or “grown up” thing to do is to just be honest and let the cards fall where they may. But that rarely happens. On a larger scale, we can look at what is happening in the world today and know that communication is having a hard time. Negotiation doesn’t appear to be an option. Everyone believes they are right and are willing to risk their life to prove their point. The art of listening has gone out the window.
But on a smaller scale, i.e. me, I can be more careful how I choose my words. I can really listen to what the other person is saying. It’s usually not what is coming out of their mouth but what is coming out of their heart. That could be from fear or hurt and they mask it by either being angry or combative. And the definition “speaking from the heart” takes on a whole new meaning. Because they are having a hard time communicating out of not knowing whether they can trust you to embrace their vulnerability and not abuse it.
So I need to everyday be more aware of what people are really saying by not only being aware of their words but also their message that lies from within. After all, I think all we really want is to be understood.