Communication, off the top of my head
content: Feb 2, 2018 · podcast: Mar 11, 2021
Kidding aside, I mean what I say when I talk and write to people.
I try to be clear when I'm kidding but sometimes they don’t get it. Then I feel bad. Sometimes it’s understood when I’m joking but generally it isn’t with people I don’t know.
I do my best to be honest and direct. When something’s important I try to keep it short and to the point. Getting wordy can and usually does add confusion.
Sometimes I dance around a subject because I’m nervous. Worried about another’s reaction. Hopefully I’ll get there, get at what I’m trying to say.
When it’s obvious the other person is nervous I try to be patient and understanding. I don’t like being in their shoes anymore than they do.
Kidding aside again, I also take what other people say at face value and steer clear of reading more into it than I should. I don’t look for subliminal messages or other clues. I’m not Indiana Jones over here. I try to keep the paranoia on the shelf. It’s better for me not to be polishing my delusions and let them get dusty instead.
However, sometimes I take what somebody said the wrong way and then spend too much time up in my head. Then I act differently, change my behaviors and my attitudes toward them. And then later I find out that I was being just a little bit too neurotic and then feel like an ass.
Sometimes I just don’t like the response I get from people. Sometimes it hurts my feelings. People aren’t always going to shower me with goodwill and compliments. I need to hear both “yes” and “no” to be a complete human being.
More often than not what another is saying is apparent. But maybe not. Sometimes I don’t understand exactly what they mean. Then I ask questions so I can.
Sometimes people expect me to read between the lines. I’m not good at that.
“I was dropping hints!”
Well, okay but I’m dense. It’s too easy to make assumptions and make mistakes. My longstanding, most prominent fiascos have miscommunication swirling around in there somewhere.
This isn’t directed at anyone because that would render pretty much everything I just wrote as false. When I write things like this it’s to help clarify things for me. Set goals, set bars that I want to reach. Outline the plan of who I want to be.
Once I learned that I need to be less of a mind reader and more of a good communicator, my relationships got 100% better. I freed up so much more time to enjoy them rather than trying to win, rather than trying to figure everything out.
This is a quote from a U2 song but they’re referencing the old testament about a guy who wrestled his demons and ultimately won out over them.
Fight the good fight and you’ll inspire everybody.
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