Relationships are the network of life, and the overall quality of our life will be determined by the quality of relationships that we keep.
The quality of our relationships is determined by the quality and maturity of our communications, and this is an area that all of us can continuously improve in.
Communication is a process through which people exchange their thought, feelings, and understanding through verbal and non-verbal messages.
Communicating isn’t just about what people say to each other via the language they use but is also about how people say what they say through their tone of voice, facial expressions, gestures and body language.
Although this might seem like a simple definition, if you were to consider some of the less productive communications you’ve historically been involved in, you might see how the subject can suddenly become a bit more complicated.
The way people communicate will often expose what is going on inside of people’s hearts and minds. All people, all of the time will either be speaking their minds, or they’ll be speaking from the heart. There’s a huge difference by the way!
There are countless other subtle ways that we communicate (often even unintentionally) with others. For example, the tone of our voice (how we communicate) can give other people clues to our mood or emotional state, while hand signals (or gestures) can emphasise (or add greater depth) to an orally spoken message.
An old Hebrew teacher once said, “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaketh.” By this he meant, if your heart is mainly governed by fear, you will be likely to project this fear through the body language facial expressions, vocabulary, and tonality that you use.
Subsequently, if your heart is full of peace, faith, generosity, hope for a positive outcome, and love, you’ll express your inner emotions through what you say and how you say what you say.
If your heart is mainly ruled by fear, doubt, bitterness or anxiety, then what you say and how you say what you say will be for the purpose of hiding the truth about what’s truthfully going on inside of you.
If what I’ve mentioned here resonates with you in any way, that’s OK, because the process of learning how to communicate more efficiently is a lifelong process that we are all on as human beings.
If you feel that your communication skills aren’t serving you in the way you would like them to, it’s possible that you (like most people) just didn’t have the greatest teachers in life (usually our parents).
Communications skills aren’t something that many people are taught in school, the family home or even in Sunday school – even though they’re perhaps one of the most critical skill sets needed to navigate our way through life.
Most people aren’t taught how to interpret and translate the language of their thoughts, emotions, and frustrations into words, let alone communicate them to others!
Resultantly, as most people don’t know how to communicate with honesty and integrity, they hide behind pretence and social masks that they hope will be acceptable to others.
Fear of Truth is the Destroyer of Honest & Meaningful Conversations.
If you don’t have the boldness or the willingness to accept the truth about how you feel, what you think and what you need, you’ll be more likely to communicate confusing and inaccurate information to the other people you know.
Say, for example, your partner gets distracted one month and forgets to pay the rent on time. You receive a late payment penalty, and your landlord now wants to evict you.
The thoughtful response would be to come up with a solution so that a situation like this doesn’t happen again. But as you’re so angry, instead, you criticise and blame your partner, a fighterupts, and you wind up not speaking for the next few days. Criticising and blame are two of the best ways to destroy good communications.
Yes, communication is critical to every healthy relationship, but unfortunately, mature communication doesn’t always come easy. When we blame or criticise someone, we remove the responsibility for a particular outcome, off from ourselves and onto someone else – with force.
“But good healthy communication is impossible without openness, honesty, and vulnerability.” Paul Kendall, The Marriage Miracle