"Between what is said and not meant, and what is meant and not said, most love is lost." - Khalil Gibran
So many of us say things we do not mean or even worse hide away the things we want to say, and with that comes so many things that are lost in translation. The reality is that clear, coherent, and honest communication is not an easy skill to master. However, this does not make it any less important. In fact, communication is an essential prerequisite to having successful relationships and partnerships.
From the moment we become aware of our surroundings as kids, we are taught how to speak and communicate with others. But what so many seem to be unaware of is the many things that communication entails. Communication is more than just what you say and how you say it, because it is also about how you act and what your body is nonverbally communicating.
So many of the issues and conflicts we go through everyday have to do with communication or the lack of it. Whether it is in your personal or professional relationships, not being able to communicate effectively will result in problems that might have been otherwise avoided.
That is why it is important to understand that just because two people speak the same language does not mean they are able to understand one another. And this is something most people are oblivious to; communication is only part of the equation, and comprehension is the other. In order for one to be a good communicator, they also have to be open and understand what the other person is trying to say.
Actively listening to people, understanding their stance, and then responding can greatly help people overcome communication problems. Because ultimately, we should not be listening just to merely respond, but instead we should listen to understand.
“The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply.” - Stephan Hawkings
Another important aspect that further drives communication problems is peer pressure. With so many ideologies fed into our brain by friends, colleagues and family members, it becomes easy to lose sight of what really matters; say what you really feel and think.
For example, one thing that I have witnessed a lot is the idea of pretending not to care when something goes wrong with a friend or significant other, because it seems like many perceive caring as a weakness. And while many might not agree with this approach, it seems people are willing to go against their values and beliefs just to merely fit in.
In short, peer pressure and communicating in a harmful manner are easy shortcuts to ruining relationships. It is pivotal to learn that you have the right to communicate or act in ways that align with your values regardless of whether others agree with it or not. Learning how to say no and stick with what you believe to be right and true will help you become a better, more open communicator with yourself and others.
At the end of the day, what you say to someone and how you say it can go a long way.
Listen actively, be open to different perspectives, understand that everyone is different, and then reply wisely.