Healthy Communication

I am going to talk about Direct Communication, and Indirect Communication.

If you are constantly feeling frustrated or un heard then you may not be communicating directly. People respond better to Direct Communication which is why it is so important to learn the correct way to communicate to people. You will be shocked how differently your friendships and relationships will be once you learn, practice and master this concept. Theres only two ways to communicate; directly or indirectly, one is effective, the other is not. When you can learn and understand what direct communication looks like then you can put it into practice and learn better approaches to conversations.

Indirect Communication: you aren’t getting to the point, you aren’t clearly stating intention, you are passive aggressive, hostile in your tone, sometimes angry, communicate through body language and behavior, expecting or wanting the other person to guess what you’re trying to say or read your mind, but this can also be so much smaller things. The list goes on and on.

Direct Communication: to the point, not afraid to state what is wanted or why, no hidden messages, no trying to get the other person to guess what you are feeling or saying, equal amounts of talking and listening, attention to the others needs and perspective, honest, true feelings, thoughts and needs are stated.

Now just because someone uses Indirect Communication does not mean they are doing it on purpose or want to be difficult. But you have the right to feel whatever you feel and if it bothers you when someone communicates Indirectly then thats 100% a good enough reason not to continue dating them. Direct Communication is one of my NEEDS and if my partner can’t communicate directly then thats crossing my boundaries. I would explain to them that it was one of my needs and I’d share with them everything I am sharing now. If they weren’t willing to learn to communicate directly and put it into practice then It wouldn’t work for me.

If you grew up in a family where you never discussed your feelings or showed emotion in public and felt like it was looked down upon then it is likely that you learned how to talk about things very indirectly. You never learned how to be direct with your feelings and what you were needing from someone. You might find yourself feeling like your partner doesn’t love you when really you don’t have the words to express what you need or are trying to say in a direct way for him to understand what you are truly saying. Some people were taught that being honest is rude. You could become very indirect just because you don’t want to be rude or hurt someones feelings. I used to have a problem with both of those things and still am practicing it because it was so foreign to me. I grew up not feeling comfortable to express my emotions so this concept was very foreign to me when I learned it. This whole time I thought I communicated so well but I wasn’t. You have to put it into practice every single day until it becomes installed into your brain.

Another type of Indirect Communication is minimizing your own feelings. When you are upset and say “ its fine” when its not fine that is being indirect. When someone asks if they can do something and you tell them you’re fine with it but you’re not… thats indirect communication. Or how about when you bring something up and then say never mind, when you are wanting and needing to talk about it. All of this screws up the communication in the relationship or friendship and it builds up resentment, hostility or annoyance.

If you want your partner to do something and you word it like “ Do you want to come with me me to do this?” and their answer is no that is them being honest. They don’t want to. If you ask them “ Would you be willing to come with me to do this ?” You aren’t asking them if they wanted to, you are asking if they would. Thats a big thing that I have done in the past and If I didn’t get the response I wanted or the response that made me feel loved I would get upset. In my previous relationships and even friendships I would say “ DO you want to” and then I would be upset feeling like that person wouldn’t make any compromises or sacrifices. I was communicating wrong and not being direct. I never worded it correctly which left me feeling like my friend or boyfriend didn’t want to spend time with me or didn’t love me.

Example: “ Do you want to go get lunch with me on your lunch break? ” opposed to… “ I would really love to spend my lunch break with you, would you meet me here for lunch? ” The first question I would get more of response like, “No I’m super busy at the office ” , “ No I don’t have time ”, “ No I just ate ” , but if I worded it the second way that person might be more inclined to want to and say yes.

I follow a Direct Communication guideline that I keep in my notes that helps me have direct conversations and it has made all the difference and by doing so I feel so empowered to be direct with my feelings and what I want.

When you ______ I feel ____ therefore I need _______

When I heard you say….

( repeat what the person said )

or When you do or did this ……

What I made up about that is ....

My perception was......

I thought.......

( share your perception, interpretation, thought, reality )

And about that I feel….

( share emotions ( angry, fear, joy, passion, hurt, shame, pain, love, guilt, sad )

And therefore I request….

I need….

would you be willing? ….

is that going to be possible….

Avoid saying “ It makes me ” or “ You make me feel ” No one can make you feel a certain way. Sometimes we speak indirectly just expecting our partner to know what we are asking of them. If we are direct and get a yes or no answer then they don’t have an out and its easier to hold them accountable of respecting your needs and boundaries. Avoid using the word “ but ” because it divides while “ and ” connects. Practice using I statements not You. Don’t start off the conversation with “ why ” instead say, “ Can you help me understand? ” Avoid words ( always, never and every time. ) If you are mad about something ask yourself, Why am I sad about it? Anger and sadness go hand in hand.

Ask yourself am I placing blame?

Am I nit picking?

Am I being passive aggressive or using indirect communication?

Do I feel safe?

Did you communicate your needs clearly?

Don’t argue over things that can not be fixed.

Ask yourself at the end of the day “ Is this working for me? ”

Remorse- What do you need to feel better? What can I do to help resolve this problem so we can move on?

What changes things is when you change, and when you have a willingness to do something different. You will never get what you want until you figure out how to ask for it. Feeling misunderstood is something that you can change right now! Once you get in the habit of practicing direct communication you’ll never want to go back! The only thing you can change is yourself. This is all about progress and not perfection, don’t expect yourself to alway get it right but you’ll be able to be more aware for when you aren’t and learn how to be more heard.