Effective communication is essential for every aspect of our lives. We all end up in a situation where we are forced to confront a challenging issue we may be having with someone. It may be at work, with your partner, a friend, or your family. It’s not something any of us look forward to, but it’s a conversation that needs to be had. When these difficult or complicated discussions need to be had, the key to effectively communicating is to always lead with love, start with observation, and create space for understanding. In this article, we will go through 8 key points to communicating effectively, so you always set the stage for a positive path forward.
Clear Communication Starts By Setting Boundaries
Setting boundaries is a must for clear communication. When you want to speak up, you can simply start by defining where those boundaries are first. When someone says, “I need to work on my communication,” that’s a very broad statement. What does that even mean? What I would say is, if communication is something that you are trying to work on, start with setting boundaries. Boundary setting is such an incredibly easy, simple, concise shortcut to get very clear about what’s okay, what’s not okay, what you need and what you want.
Be Clear With Your Intentions
Use clear, affirmative language y’all. Be extremely clear about your intentions when you speak. How many of us have been or know that person who always keeps things up in the air? “Yeah, yeah, yeah. We’ll circle back”. “Yeah, okay.” You don’t ever get to a definitive “yes” or “no.” That also is a form of dishonesty. It creates a lot of anxiety for people that are looking for real answers. It’s no different than being flaky., I mean, is it a “hell yes” or a “hell no”? Be super clear and own your shit rather than keeping things always in the gray area because that hurts people. That hurts yourself. It keeps things in flux. It keeps energy tied up, and it isn’t productive or helpful in creating a more meaningful connection.
Be Honest With Yourself
Lying is the primary cause of suffering. So often, we don’t even realize that we’re lying to ourselves or other people. We’re not being honest about whether something is okay or not ( our boundaries). We’re not being honest about how we really feel or what we really want. Because of this, we end up suffering in ways both big and small. From a “radical honesty perspective,” we would say that lying is the primary cause of suffering. So if we just look at it from this framework alone, it can really help us realize, “Wow! Am I being honest with myself?” Just be honest with yourself, from basic needs all the way to your feelings, your emotions, and so forth.
Be responsive, even if it means “I’ll get back to you.” For the “runner-away-ers” y’all. The “avoidance” people- Just say something, anything, be responsive, and don’t leave folks hanging in suspense. It’s so helpful, and it puts you in power, and it puts you in honesty, which sets you free. Think about how inflicted we are by all the lies we carry. We don’t even know how inflicted we are. So as we continue to become more aware, we start to set ourselves free from all this infliction and really come into that freedom.
Vulnerability Is Self-Awareness
Vulnerability is authentic. It’s awakening. It’s heart-led, and it’s extremely self-aware and considerate. On the other hand, oversharing is just dumping. It’s draining, it lacks boundaries, and it lacks self-awareness. We’ve all been that friend or had those friends that just vent nonstop. That person that just keeps droning on and just wants to keep talking about things. That’s draining, and it lacks boundaries. You’re stuck in your feels and just want someone there with you; it’s not considerate at all. Real vulnerability is very heart-led. It’s very self-aware; there’s an intention behind it.
Vulnerability x Authenticity = Freedom
Vulnerability with authenticity is the way to freedom. Being vulnerable is sharing something challenging to say or difficult for others to hear for the greater good. And what is the greater good? The greater good might be trying to create that ripple effect, letting the community know that it’s okay to not be okay. Letting your friends know, “I’m really struggling with this, and I wanna be vulnerable about it.” And now the greater good is more connection, more understanding, more healing. It’s gonna help someone else feel more seen. It’s gonna help someone else have an “ah-ha!” moment. That is the greater good. That is the ripple effect. And that’s why vulnerability with authenticity is the way to freedom.
Your Word Is Everything
Your word is everything. What you say becomes the truth. Please understand that your words have the power and energy to create, manifest, destroy, and destruct. And it’s not only what we say, but it’s also what we don’t say. How many relationships are suffering because of what we don’t say to each other? Because we’re also so afraid to speak up? We’re so afraid to share. Know that in many ways, that continues to, if anything, sabotage us. I ask you to look from a self-aware perspective in your thoughts and feelings to your expression through your words, always lead with love. Be extremely mindful and intentional so that we don’t hurt each other along the way.