Most of us are shitty communicators. I say this, because I am a shitty communicator, thereby causing me to be surrounded by shitty communicators-albeit shitty communicators whom I love very much. If you are a healthy communicator, you are probably surrounded by others who communicate well, and my opinion doesn’t apply to you.
Poor and misguided communication is everywhere in most of the world, so I don’t hold it against people, but it is something that truly needs healing. We are faced with lies, manipulation, persuasion, and all kinds of twisted information on a very regular basis, from the media, the government, religions, and community cultures and traditions. In many cases, we learn it from our families first. My father’s lack of communication skills is an anomaly to me - I have never met another human who fails to properly communicate with every spoken word. My childhood was filled with lies, and I grew up thinking it was perfectly acceptable, so I became quite the impressive liar…I always hoped it would help my acting.
Fast forward to my mid thirties, after years of inner work, healing, and some guidance along the way, I have become disgusted by lying, and an advocate for honesty. I am listening more, and trying to be more mindful of my words. I am setting boundaries and learning and expressing my needs. I am choosing to be more selective of the conversations I engage in and to not verbally react without thinking first. However, some of it is easier than others. I’m still afraid to speak up when I think I might seem rude or “bitchy, I still allow guilt to control me, I become overwhelmed by communicating via cell phone, or by too many emails, I don’t always walk away from conversations I don’t want to be a part of, and I tend to give my time and energy away too freely to others. I still worry about hurting other people’s feelings, causing me to have a weak boundary with that person. On the other hand, I also catch myself acting and reacting from my ego instead of my heart, causing me to snap at people, and communicate things I don’t really feel, or I sometimes express my feelings about a person to others, instead of the “person.”
The Universe has really been pushing me hard to heal this lately. Over the past few months, I’ve been feeling more passionate about always speaking my truth, but I keep facing situations in which I do not speak my truth. When this happens, I either withdraw and attempt to disappear from the world, or I repress my feelings until it erupts at a later time, or I become resentful because I blame someone else for my inability to speak my truth. None of these actions are healthy, and I keep seeing these things in other people. My partner is facing being triggered by certain people, and it’s such a clear mirror to me of how I am not always enforcing boundaries or putting myself first. It’s seems like such an obvious answer to just be honest with people, so why is honesty so hard sometimes? Is it because we try to take responsibility for other people’s feelings? Is it because we care too much about what other people think? Is it because our ego is at risk? Are we afraid of getting in trouble? Is it because we are unable to be authentic in that moment? Well, definitely yes to that last question, but why are we so afraid of being authentic? Fear of rejection? I’m trying to dive deep with this topic. I am ready for some serious change in the communications department. I know that if I can start speaking up more often with kindness and compassion for both myself and the other person, while still enforcing boundaries, then I will start to see change in the people around me as well.
At the moment, however, there are still too many days where I just want to SCREEEEEEEAAAMMM! I want to be heard. I want to be acknowledged. I want what we all want. What I really want is to get to the place where I’ve learned to “soften with firmness,” whereas now, I feel like I’m “rigid with limpness.” What I mean by the latter, is I have a tendency to be aggressive and defensive when I enforce certain boundaries- I react from my masculine energy. Or, I don’t enforce a boundary, and I allow someone to be an energy vampire and I give them more time than I would care to- I drown in my feminine “polite” energy. When I say I want to “soften with firmness,” I just mean that I want to respond to others from a place of balanced masculine and feminine energy. I want to soften where I am tough, and firm where I am too lax. I didn’t really need all of those words to get that message across…but communicating with fewer words is something I’m still working on; I am a writer after all.
I would love for you to leave a comment and share with me how you communicate in healthy ways, or share the areas of your life in which you struggle to communicate at your best, most authentic level!