Recently I’ve been through a painful situation involving close friends. It would seem that difficulties arose because of miscommunications, faulty memories, and judgments.
Although the unresolved situation has just resurfaced, it has been going on for decades, so long that it would take a private investigator working for months to unravel what was said and what was done.
I tried to avoid the bad feelings I had been experiencing over the years by stuffing them down, and just getting on with ‘the rest of my life’. However, now that the issues are on the table to resolve, the wise part of me knows that it’s a good thing.
I always thought I was a good communicator, but the art of communication is more that being able to instruct in a classroom or speak in public.
To have clear communication on both sides, it’s not possible to skim over the top of things you don’t want to hear. Sometimes it takes asking questions and sticking to your guns until things are clarified.
Here are a few things I learned from what’s happened in relation to my friends. It would have helped hugely if my friends and I had remembered to:
- Ask questions – not assumed to understand what was meant.
- Listen better and tried to understand the other person’s perspective.
- Observe and to verify information received.
- Let everyone know their thoughts and feelings by sharing them. In disclosing information about ourselves, it would have helped to see who we are.
- Been more generous and sought understanding of the other. If our motives were truly wanting to understand and accept the other, then communication would have been be easier.
- Avoid making quick judgments.
- Try to see things from different angles.
Sabd-artha-pratyayanam-itaretaradhyasat-sankarah-tat-pravibhaga-samyamat sarva bhuta-ruta-jnanam
Interaction among words, their objects, and one’s image or idea engenders confusion. Mastering distinction among them allows understanding of the sounds that creatures make.*
*The Essence of Yoga – Reflections on the Sutras of Patanjali, Bernard Bouanchaud.