Communication can be super tricky….
Have you ever had an interaction where you wanted to say something totally different than what you actually got to say? Yeah, I’ve had a lot of those lately. What would the world be like if we could say what we wanted to say? What if we could be direct? What if we didn’t need to sugarcoat everything? Yeah, that would be awesome. But how can we do that and get away with it? Let’s discuss…
Saying certain things to people can be seriously frowned upon, socially speaking. This can be true especially if someone is sensitive, or if you’re in a professional setting. Regardless, I believe that people should be able to freely express themselves without being hurtful to others.
I know this may seem impossible, but it’s definitely not. So what can you do to make this a reality? Open and honest communication is key. Regardless of what you need to say, the way that you say it makes all the difference. What the hell does that mean, right? It means that you can say what you need to say, but word it in a way that is respectful and kind.
Being open and honest can potentially benefit you and the other person. But again, it needs to be done appropriately.
Check out these tips on how to say what you need to say:
Know your audience
Depending on the setting, and who you are with, decide if this is the right time and place to say what you mean. Know your audience.
Is this a battle worth the fight?
It can be difficult to discuss certain topics with certain people, so it’s important to figure out whether it’s even worth saying whatever it is that you need to say. If it’s a work thing, you may just need to go up the chain of command. Not everyone is willing to engage in an open dialogue, and that’s okay.
Stop and think
How’s the best way to phrase what you need to say without being hurtful? Take a second to think about it—rushing in a situation like this can potentially cause a lot of harm. It’s possible to completely step away from the situation, collect your thoughts, and re-visit the issue at a later time. Regardless of when the interaction takes place, be cautious, and be thoughtful.
Use “I” statements
Using “I” statements can be really beneficial in a situation like this because you are taking responsibility for your thoughts and feelings. With this, you will not be placing blame on anyone else, and it is purely a reflection of your perspective.
Body language is a huge aspect of communication. Tone of voice and facial expressions can sometimes convey a lot more than words, so be aware of some of the other messages your body might be sending…
Don’t be hurtful
I really can’t stress this enough: we can say things without purposely offending or hurting someone else. Again, take your time, think before you speak, use “I” statements, and be as kind as possible.
Be prepared to explain
Sometimes people may ask for additional feedback on what’s making you feel the way you do—be sure to have some follow-up info to back your statement. This definitely helps the other person, and also provides support for the issue you’re addressing.
It’s always the things that are hardest to say that hurt the most, so be aware of the words you are using, as well as your body language…
Be bold. Be strong. Be kind. YOU GOT THIS!
Communication can be stressful—check out my article on how to cope with stress here.