How much ever success, fame, money you have, absence of fulfilling relations creates a hole that can’t be occupied by any other means. Support, love and pride of our loved ones amplifies our energy and gives us a sense of satisfaction. Whether communication is via phone, email or in-person, getting better at conversations is said to be that magic key to opening the doors of peace and contentment. However, many of us fall short on ways of doing this without really hurting the other person or offending them. Either we end up loosing our patience or taking the so-called misinterpreted high road of “Agreeing to Disagree”.
FOMO (Fear of missing out) has made our circles larger which as the result leaves us with less time to invest in those important bond formations.
In-spite of so much attention and time we give to communication and language during academics, most of us are not aware of how to really connect using that tool. Talking-uncontrollably is our procedure to connect instead of listening-without interruption. The maker gave us mouths that close and ears that don’t– that should tell us something- Paulo Coelho
Extending it further, here are some ways that has helped me to have meaningful conversations, the touchstone to which is, ” It’s not what you say, it’s the way you say it that makes all the difference”.
- Hear to Listen, not to speak- Having a last word in a conversation gives us an acknowledgment of being right. We ceaselessly think ways to rebuttal while the other person is still in the midst of expression. How can one ever connect to someone else if the only person they are busy connecting is themselves? Put a stop on that craving to speak and listen without interruption. Rebuttal in my life often became the sole reason for those long-stretched arguments. Learning my way to keep my mouth shut and not offer my high earned wisdom has in true sense helped me so much to connect, not just to others but to myself.
- Seek to understand First- Being a huge fan of Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of highly effective people, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood”-one of those habits often made me wonder how much I needed to sharpen this skill. Noticeably- those failed mean conversations made it pretty apparent of my deficiency.
- Halt the Wandering- As per one statistics, the average human attention span is approximately 8 seconds; others state that most healthy teenagers and adults are unable to sustain attention on one thing for more than about 20 minutes at a time, so don’t be too critical if your brain has detoured to your next meal while someone is expressing their emotions. Instead put a constant effort to bring yourself back. Personally, I try to imagine as much as possible, in other words, be the Brandon Stark of GOT. 🙂
- Connect the words- It is difficult to understand the context sometimes because vulnerability is not easily expressible. Try to connect by asking questions regarding the feelings, then asking the details like time, exact words, exact location, etc. Conversations are about feelings, less about details of the incident.
- Every Issue is important- Now, I am aware there are people dying out of starvation every minute but that doesn’t mean- problems of that high magnitude only should be treated with vigilance and the rest should be ignored. Hurt is hurt, and it deserves our honor by talking about it (if required) and not putting it on the barometer further shunning away.
- Comparison kills a conversation- Comparing two or more people even with an intention of giving perspective of those bravery-stories of people fighting is not going to solve anything. It will only make them feel less sufficient. If you are like most people, that’s the route you might be tempted to take however don’t compare someone’s problem with another.
- Don’t give solutions Yet- One size fits all doctrine doesn’t work in such a huge population. If it did, there would literally be no rivalry, no racism, no civil wars, no terrorism, no bombarding. That is clearly not the case in the world we live in. Don’t jump to solutions unless someone asks for it. Showing them roadways and letting them choose their path works better.
- Expand your imagination- Feeling pain is no fun, especially if it isn’t your own. Putting that extra effort to feel someone’s struggle will only help you get a perspective and create that unbreakable bond. It is also true that one can only try but can’t really weave history, context, mindset, emotion, behavior and thinking with the same density.
- Pat the back- Compassion has been one of those important values to hold. If all us could only contribute little compassion to each other, peace might take the first seat on this roller coaster of life. Even if you think the problem could have been catered in a better way, just appreciate the person for their efforts and intention.