How to communicate when you only understand from your perspective? Does anyone know how to overcome this? I discussed a different angle on communication last week – check out the post now if you missed it, http://thatthingcalledlife.com/2017/08/07/words-get-twisted/.
I have mentioned on several occasions that communication was not my strong area. Well it didn’t used to be my strong area, but with a lot of hard work I strengthened this skill. Now let’s get into the topic. Do you understand what this topic means? Do you understand how important this is to understand? Do you recognize if this is how you communicate? Let me be real with you, prior to my journey to free myself from my past pain I didn’t see beyond how I felt. I didn’t care to understand either because I was harboring so much pain, bitterness, and resentment in my heart. My heart was so ugly. I tried to maintain a smile and appear to be nice and kind, but deep down I was not so nice and kind.
Let me help you to understand what I am talking about. I could be having a discussion with someone and I not agree with their position or point of view, I would instantly tune them out and discount their value and perspective. If they went against what I was saying, I felt no need to continue the conversation. How nice and kind is that? I would also listen to defend myself and where I was coming from instead of listening to understand. If I really thought a person didn’t understand me or what I had to say, I stopped talking to them all together. I had some issues that I worked really hard to change/resolve. Can you imagine how damaging this behavior is? And you know what sad part about it was? I was so disconnected emotionally that I didn’t feel like the relationship mattered to them in the first place because I didn’t think I was worthy of the connection.
I sabotaged relationships because ultimately: I didn’t want to get hurt; I didn’t feel like I deserved a quality relationship; I didn’t feel like people really wanted to be a part of my life genuinely (there had to be some unsaid intention). Yeah I was messed up in the head and I know that I am not the only person in this world who has ever behaved like this. If I was, I feel real crazy and dysfunctional.
Well, I was these things because now I value what people have to say even if they don’t agree with my stance. I understand that I cannot control how people think or their experience in a particular situation. I know that even if I and another person went through something together, at the exact same time, we would each have a different perspective. How we view the world, what we went through before, are we holding onto any baggage? All of these things shape how a person interprets or reacts to the experiences of life. It’s not a one size fits all type of thing and that’s for real. However, it doesn’t mean that we can’t seek to understand one another.
I feel like there would be less trouble or confusion in the world if we just seek to understand. This is what love is all about. Isn’t that what we are supposed to do – love thy neighbor as you love yourself. Think about that when you are interacting with others and don’t just look at your side of the story. You have to be open to what the other person is saying. So when I say how to communicate when you only understand from your perspective, the response is that you can’t communicate effectively when you are only trying to understand from you own perspective. You need to shut your mouth, open your ears, and open your heart to listen for understanding.