Say what you mean
It sounds so simple! And in reality it could be. Everyone could do the world a favour and just say what they think. No more second guessing. No more double meanings. Nothing hidden.
At first glance that sounds wonderful. Then on second thoughts, do we really want to know?
And right there is the rub. We’d like to say what we mean, but we’re also worried about what other people will think. We care about the impact of our words, to the extent that sometimes we don’t say what we mean. We say what we think other people would like to hear.
What a lot of extra work. All that second guessing. And all that hiding yourself away from the world.
Here are 4 different communication styles to illustrate your state of mind and attitude towards the world.
assertive agressive passive passive-agressive
I care about me I care about me I don’t care about me I don’t care about me
I care about you I don’t care about you I care about you I don’t care about you
Stop and reflect on the conversations you have with people who matter to you. Which style, or styles, do you fit into?
Everyone will be different and have their own combination of styles. Do you have any ‘interesting’, lightbulb moments? Is there one person you fall firmly into one category with? Or are you more of an even mix? And how about the situation you’re in, how does that affect your communication style? There’s no right or wrong here. It’s just about you.
If you’re a person who is happy with their communication style, that’s fantastic. Rock on and keep being your own wonderful self.
If you think you’d like to change the way you communicate with others it will be time for a reset of your beliefs, habits and patterns. Just identifying your communication style is fascinating. You now have a choice. You can choose to continue, maybe making a small few conscious tweaks here and there. Or you can choose to change. That’s a lot of hard work. But doable.
It’s our duty to say what we think. To challenge an opinion. To correct an insult. We’re all guilty of keeping quiet when we could be speaking up, agreeing outwardly with others when we inwardly have a question mark, keeping our own thoughts and opinions quietly hidden because we’re too worried about what others will think about us.
Simply tell the truth about how you feel. Otherwise others will just make up a story anyway, and it may not be the story you want them to think.
You have one precious life. Choose to live the way that suits you the best.