Talking, writing, body language, facial expressions….they are all communication skills, but sometimes they do not accurately communicate what we actually feel or think. Sometimes we lack the right words to illustrate what we feel or think internally. And sometimes we have the exact right words, and the other person doesn’t get it. It can cause frustration, pain and suffering or it can cause elation, joy and love. It is a daily necessity and a very important part of being human. Ironically it is often the root of many issues, because we all tend to assume that everyone else sees the world the way we do, and when someone disagrees it can cause conflict. Often though I have found that we are saying the same thing in two different ways. We have the same outcome in mind, but how we plan to get there looks completely opposite.
And funnily enough we get in to arguments about right versus wrong, but if you really take a look at people they do not follow a set of black and white rules, there are many shades of grey. There is no one right way to raise your child, there is no one right way to learn in school, there is no one right way to love another, in fact, everyone is different and wants to be shown love in different ways.
So how then, with all these different ways of communicating do we get along? The simple answer is we have to learn how to be patient with others and have compassion. We can’t assume we understand how they feel, or that the situation they are going through is exactly like what we went through. Sometimes it is, but more often than not it is a completely different set of circumstances involving different people and situations. Yet we desire so badly to relate, we want to help others, but we can get rigid in our way of doing things and assume that others must do it the same way to have success.
Another way we can grow is to start seeing the world through someone else’s eyes. We can learn about how other people work internally, how other people see life, and while we may not always agree with it, it allows us to have a deeper sense of compassion and care because we know that we are different, we are not cookie cutters of each other. And honestly, who wants to live in a world where everyone is the same, looks the same, thinks the same, dresses the same, it’s not truth, and we need to begin to celebrate the diversity of how we all communicate. A great resource that has helped me is called Life Languages. It is a communication profile that not only gives you insight into how you prefer to communicate with others, but gives you a better understanding of how different people communicate, and how we can avoid misunderstanding each other. It is an invaluable tool that can provide insight, clarity and bring peace to relationships. And at the end of the day we all want to be understood and accepted.