Miscommunication happens so frequently that people have no idea the other person is thinking something completely different than what they said. Words are tricky. Why? Because words have various meanings and when you put them together in a certain way in a sentence they again can have immeasurable meanings for another person.
This happens because everyone comes with their own experiences, world views, opinions, limiting beliefs, and meanings they impart to their words. If I were to ask two people the meaning of a given word, they would likely say two completely different things.
The synapses are firing so fast in your brain there is no way you can make any connection to the fact the person used a word that triggered your subconscious, which opened up an old memory that created a limiting belief of yourself. Now you are having a conversation with someone being re-wounded by their words and you are checking out. At that point, you’re in fight-flight-freeze and can no longer engage in a rational conversation because you are in survival mode, and that part of your brain is shut down.
Now imagine this is happening to both people at the same time. How can one possibly expect to truly communicate? In essence, you can’t!
So then how do you effectively communicate with someone? First, you need to do your own healing work, so you are not triggered by someone else. You also need to increase your self-awareness because healing takes time and many layers, so you may think you’ve healed an old would and then it pops up when you least expect it. Once you have self-awareness of being triggered, then you need to support yourself to not go into fight-flight-freeze, and stay in your rational brain to engage with the other person.
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Now, you have to put aside your ego and wounded self, and truly listen to what the person is saying. Listening is the hardest skill when someone is speaking to you. Our brains are easily distracted with a plethora of mundane and stressful thoughts, and you think you are listening, but you are not.
To help, you need to ask a lot of clarifying questions to make sure you are both seeing something the same way. There needs to be an agreeance before moving forward. Then you have to not take what they are saying as factual. You get to decide what is right for you and what you want to do with the information being provided. Both people have a right to speak their truth, share their thoughts, emotions, and opinions. There is no center stage. This is a duet between two people singing different melodies and in different genres.
Once both parties understand each other’s melodies and genres, communication has been reached. You are able to see the person’s view point without getting triggered and are able to share your thoughts, opinions, and emotions truthfully and authentically.
I recently experienced a miscommunication with a friend. I took offence to something they said and felt hurt. If I would have not addressed it, which is what most people do, I would have stayed angry with this person, then resented them for being hurtful, and then stopped talking to them. They would have no idea why I was angry and why now I no longer speak to them. Instead, I opened the dialogue to say that what they said felt hurtful and this is what I took from their words. They explained that’s not at all what they thought. Then went on to explain what it meant to them. I now had a completely new understanding, was no longer offended, my emotions were cleared, and I was able to be open and authentic back to the person.
So even as difficult communicating is, I hope you take the time to really try to ensure you understand someone, give them a chance to explain their viewpoint, don’t take what they say personally, and engage back kindly, respectfully, openly, honestly, and with pure love. Imagine you are engaging with that person while you’re holding their precious heart in your hands. It’s fragile!!!
Find out more about thoughts and how they lie to you in the multi-award-winning book Embodied: How to Connect to Your Body, Ignite Your Intuition, and Harness Universal Energy for Healing.