Are you aware that when you have a conversation with someone there are several things going on? There is what you actually said, what you meant to say, what someone heard, what they think afterwards they heard, what they think in response to what they heard and more. This is without even getting on to the whole subject of body language and what that all means.
The problem is even between good friends conversing can be a difficult thing. So much is subjective, so much can be affected by environment and mood and outside triggers and even the way we have been brought up can alter how we hear things that are said to us.
Also what kind of person you are can bring awkwardness into socialising and interacting. You may have a friend who is clear minded and very direct. A straight shooter who says pretty much what they think. This is ok as long as the person they are talking with knows this about them. If not and the hearer is prone to analysing or deep thinking and they’ve got what was said completely out of context.
When I’m in a situation where I have to listen to someone else it doesn’t come easily to me unless it’s a situation that calls for empathy or compassion because I thrive on those. I do not necessarily claim to be good at them but they are where my passion lies. At all other times I struggle with listening to respond rather than listening to hear and almost have to physically restrain my mouth.
Another problem I have is going off on a conversational tangent. I know the point I want to make but it gets lost along the way. Hence I end up talking about childbirth in an alpha course!
The thing is when people share things with us they don’t always want us to give them advice or to set their world to rights. They simply just desperately want to be listened to. To know someone cares. As the saying goes that’s why God gave us 2 ears to hear and 1 mouth for talking.
It’s good practice for us to think about how we relate to others and to set a guard over our lips on some of the things we want to say. It teaches us discipline and compassion and self control.
I don’t find it easy to be direct with people. In fact I prefer the written word. I am more likely to communicate a message by email because it’s less socially embarrassing and the recipient can’t see my face!
Hmm psychologists would probably have a field day with that one.
I don’t often add a disclaimer or qualify my remarks but I do have friends who sometimes read my blog. This post is not in response to anything at all that has happened recently. I often have ideas for posts drifting around my head and I think better late at night.
Good night x