The Art and Failure of Communication

Communication is something we assume just ‘happens’.  Most of us talk, express feelings, emotions, connect with others on a daily basis.  We see this as communication, but the art of communication is often saying what is unsaid.  When it is not said, the beauty and simplicity of communication is a failure.  We cannot read thoughts, deduce from analogies what is your true meaning behind a phrase, or even figure out your true feelings from your mannerisms.

Communication is a big failure in many relationships, whether marriage, friendship, family.  We think certain ways about situations, and when we fail to speak them openly in words that connect specifically with those thoughts, the art of communication is lost.  I am not a mind reader-I cannot always sense when you do not want to hear what I have to say, and I cannot read your mind to know what is wrong in your heart.  How can I know if you do not tell me?

We see relationships fall apart before a discussion has even occured: it was decided that the person MUST know what the other was doing wrong, and since they did not take the initiative to fix it, the relationship cannot survive.  In other cases, one friend asks another for advice, the person gives it, or even gives it unsolicited, and rather than the friend giving feedback, they just stew over it, angered at the advice, the thoughts, the reality of how the other feels.

We fail at communication.  If one person expresses in words the truth of how they’re feeling, it is often not openly accepted, and because of this fear of not being accepted, we hinder from expressing in words our true feelings.  We just shut out the world hoping someone figures us out.  We stop listening to our head, and just plow on losing the art.

Expressing ourselves is vitally important; without expression in words, in thoughts, in emotions, we can only connect on a surface level with the people around us.  When we open up, we can connect in a more deeper, intimate level that may open up controversy, may bruise feelings, but ultimately, allows us to speak the truth.

Our defenses have become high-we hear slander in sarcasm, we feel attacked in criticism, we feel ashamed in judgement.  These are natural feelings, especially for me.  I am good at doling out, at times, a verbal diarrhea of thoughts on situations, and it does not always sound PC, or come off in a respected tone.  I do not intent to sound mean, but I call it as I see it, speak my mind on a situation, and am not one to sit idly by ‘resting on my laurels’.  This is me, as it always has been.

I want to be a part of the art, not the failure, of communication despite its repurcussions.  Maybe, instead of criticizing people on what they speak on their mind, we should be revamping how we learn to give feedback on those communications and what we take personally.

I know I could learn a lesson or two in deliverance of words, but I could also learn how to be more accepting of others words to me, and how they feel my words into their lives.  It is possible we have been wrong all along with the art of communication-it is mostly not what is said, but how it is received.

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Comments 1

  1. wow…one of your best ever…
    “Our defenses have become high-we hear slander in sarcasm, we feel attacked in criticism, we feel ashamed in judgement.”
    Powerful sentence.
    Real discussion is so rare.

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