When I was younger, communication did not always come easily to me. I found it difficult to know what to say. I judged whether what I said was “right” or not. I went over conversations in my head for hours afterwards, trying to figure out what went wrong. Even when I spent time around people who were brilliant communicators, I couldn’t seem to learn from watching and listening to them. My ability to be verbose and clear in written communication didn’t help in most social situations.
In adulthood, I began studying communication skills to figure out “what went wrong” and how I could find more ease for the “right way” to express myself. In a way that felt good and allowed others to understand me clearly.
I learned templates, but they didn’t work in every situation. Trying to make myself fit into the templates were useful to learn new skills. But I needed new ways of holding myself in connection.
I needed permission and courage to be openly honest and open. It wasn’t “okay” to be honest. It’s vulnerable to let others know how I truly feel, what I think, and what opinions I hold, especially when desiring peaceful harmony. Fears and conflicting inner voices can muddle access to what’s true.
Yet honesty solves many problems. When the truth is delivered with sincerity and openness, there is space for everyone to take a breath… and respond, instead of reacting in defensiveness.
The words matter, and so does the delivery. Do you notice one key in communication is being tuned in with yourself, your emotions, and the physical sensations you feel? First thing is knowing yourself and what’s true for you. From this place, it becomes easier to know what needs to be said to soothe a conflict or uncomfortable issue.
This is a process and a journey. Finding clear, open, and honest communication with yourself to understand your own truth means you can do the same with others. Holding yourself and finding your inner wisdom can allow you to be more comfortable adapting to the changing needs your environment requires of you.
My understanding of honesty is that it starts from within.
Practice getting in touch with the truth about a challenging situation or issue in March’s monthly meeting with Writing Journeys (free).