I've noticed lately a lot of miscommunication and defensive responses to what is being said as well as not going direct to the source by picking up the phone. Most people will complain to others or react back through email and/or texting, given the delayed and often misread understanding and tone of what is being communicated. The energy seems to be erratic and overly emotional. Insecurities running rapid and being wounded by what is said or not said creating a reactive and defensive response to our relationships. So how do we turn this around? How do we heal and express the hidden feelings, frustrations, and past hurts? To truly be vulnerable to our relationships by allowing others to know what is going on inside, instead of masked in passive aggressive and defensive responses.
Most of us safeguard our feelings by keeping others at a distance not really communicating when we are hurt by others communication or non-communication. We walk away from our relationships, friendships, and working relationships wounded, distant, and self-protected. Others not knowing what happened or why we are responding that way, feeling pushed away, abandoned, and disregarded. The wounds on repeat cycle, washing over us clouding our judgement and not aware that there may be a different perspective of the situation. Our hurts projected onto others through defensive and hurtful responses which creates what we fear, but what we don't realize is we ourselves created the scenario that the other was not aware of nor had a chance to give their response.
I have been observing my own behavior in my relationships as well as others within their relationships. Why is it that when something is said we can sometimes go to the worst case scenario rather than giving people the benefit of the doubt. It's hard to communicate from your truth in a compassionate and honest manner. Most of us were not given the training to be good communicators, direct and upfront when it comes to misunderstandings. It's difficult to go to the source and have a heart to heart talk on what we are experiencing. Will they hear me? Will they understand me? Will they acknowledge what I am saying? Or will they become defensive and turn the discussion on to what I have done wrong to them? Or that I'm being too sensitive?
Can we learn to be responsible and accountable to how we deliver information? Can we take a step back and give ourselves time to take in what was communicated and reflect before responding out of a knee-jerk reaction? Can we really listen to what is being said and slow down in our reply? Can we ask questions for clarity and understanding before we give feedback? Can we get in touch with our emotions around what is being said and respond with dignity and compassion?
I think most of us know when something is said that hits us funny. But what we do next makes all the difference. Can we take some time to reflect on what was said and why it's making us feel weird. Sometimes we know right away what's going on, but there are times when we don't. Instead of reacting or being passive aggressive try taking some time out to write about what is going on inside. Why you are feeling this way? Are you feeling taken advantage of, disregarded and not important, or was the tone aggressive and you're not sure what is going on for them? What was communicated and how? Then when you have some ideas it's ok to talk with someone to get another perspective, a different point of view.
There are times where you just have to let it go, it doesn't serve you to say anything, and other times where it would be good to talk directly to the person about how you are feeling and your experience using I statements. This is not a blame game this is getting in touch with what your experience was and communicating for understanding.
I want to leave you with this, next time you feel jilted, misunderstood, or reactive. Do not respond for at least a day. Sit with the feeling and reflect on what this given situation is creating for you as an opportunity in growth. It may be to set better boundaries, to consciously take a couple more steps within sharing information, or to pick up the phone and be the bigger person for clarity of the situation. Maybe you need to ask the question what did you mean when you said ....? This is what I heard. Before you jump to conclusions of the given situation, you may have had it wrong. You will learn a lot about yourself when you take some time out to ponder the given situation and share responsibly.