Over the last several weeks I’ve been sharing with readers on the principles that have helped me in my life. If followed, I believe the principles of truth, trust and learning will assist you in your own decision making and help you grow as an individual. This article will cover the principle of communication, which is one that encompasses everything that I’ve shared so far….and in many respects is one of the most difficult.
There are many aspects to communication and the first one I will unpack is whether you should enter into a dialogue with a person or not. I believe that most of the time it’s important to keep the lines of communication open, even in the most difficult of circumstances but there are exceptions.
As I mentioned in a previous article I recently experienced a situation where the other person was immediately very aggressive in an email. It was a difficult email to respond to and required a very measured response that I had checked over by a number of people I respect before hitting the send button.
I find that in emotionally charged situations it’s often good to have someone else check over what you are communicating. It’s so easy to get caught up with your feelings and responding in a controlled manner can be difficult. If you find yourself in a difficult situation then make sure you get some advice from someone that is invested in your life. They will often provide a clearer insight to the situation than you can yourself.
It wasn’t long before I received a reply to my email response. The email had the same tone as the first one and essentially said they didn’t believe anything that I’d said in my reply. When someone doesn’t believe anything you say then in my opinion it’s better to say nothing at all…..and so my second reply was a one liner that said I had nothing more to add to my previous email.
When you are communicating with truth to another person and they don’t believe a word your saying then it means they just want to have a fight. Some people are like this. For whatever reason they always seem to be wanting some drama with someone else. Their life is like an endless television soap drama......don't buy into their fiction.
Thankfully, most people aren’t like the person I had an email correspondence with which brings me to the wrapper that surrounds all the principles. The most important thing you can do when you are having a dialogue with someone else is to remember to speak with love.
There is absolutely no point in sharing something with someone if the way you share it isn’t going to be received. The best way to ensure that what you are communicating is received is if it’s wrapped in love.
Many people view love as a bit of a wishy washy emotion that’s meant for weak individuals. Nothing could be further from the truth. Love has many aspects to it but broadly speaking the two I would like to address are kindness and strength.
Making sure only kind words about people pass your lips is one of the most liberating things you can do for yourself and for those that you speak about. Think about it. If you only spoke kind words about me then over time the level of trust between us would be enormous. Not only that, since kindness demands the truth then our relationship would be continuously fed on growing levels of both truth and trust. This sounds good to me.
My wife's parents are some of the most gracious people I know. They don't let anything negative pass their lips about another person and they always look for the good in every situation. I find they are an inspiration to be admired and are the perfect role models for me when I blow it and end up in the learning zone.
As I mentioned, love is also strong. It means you don’t shirk your responsibility to bring correction to a friend or loved one. Sometimes it's better for them to know rather than not know about an issue.
As I said to one of our daughters, “Would you rather that I warn you about the cliff you’re about to step off or cheers you as you plummet to the bottom?” When you put it that way the choice is obvious....but it can sometimes be difficult to speak.
Too many people don’t say something when they should and loved ones get hurt. Remember if you’re sharing in love, then you are not telling a person what to do but rather doing what you can to point out potential pitfalls they may step into.
If a someone doesn’t listen and falls flat on their face then don’t say, “I told you so”. In love, help them get to their feet. They’ll remember those times when you didn’t condemn them for being stupid for not listening to you. Rather than deducting from the trust account between you you’ll massively add to it. So sometimes it’s better to just say nothing.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this series where I’ve opened up some of my thoughts on life. I find that too many people make decisions from an emotional perspective rather than from a set of principles like truth, trust and learning. At the very least I hope this series has encouraged you to evaluate what principles you use to help you journey through your life.
I must admit, that I’ve been quite nervous about readers reactions to this series as I’ve often shared some very personal moments from my life. Thankfully, I’ve only received positive comments to me via email and I would like to thank all those people that took the time to write to me. Feel free to reach out to me by leaving a comment or sending me an email.
Have a great weekend.