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Communication 101

Communication is a wonderful thing, right? I like to think so. Although, I’d also like to point out a common misconception people have about communication. Talking and communicating are two very different ball games. Communication involves a mutual understanding between the parties involved. Talking only requires that the conversation or disagreement go on, regardless the level of understanding between parties. And I guess we can go as far to say that it only takes one person to talk.

We must ask ourselves an important question: is the message getting passed clearly from one person to the other? If not, the two (or three, or four) people involved are not on the same page.

At this point the individuals must make decisions. I admit, sometimes avoiding decisions seems to be the easiest choice. But the decisions we make while communicating are VITAL.

If two people aren’t on the same page while communicating, it’s a lost cause if neither takes the initiative to balance the scale. We must make the decision to either widen our perspectives engaging ourselves to understand our counterpart, or choose simply not to budge, too hardheaded to realize the importance of understanding. I’m sure we all hope to see effort coming from both sides, but in reality, that’s not always the case. Especially in the case of disagreements.

I must ask the obvious question: when attempting to communicate, what good does it do to yell? If you think that raising your voice will make you more easily understood, you’re sorely mistaken. In actuality, throwing a tantrum does nothing for your credibility.

In argumentative situations, even at our age, some people cannot seem to figure out how to communicate. And you consider yourself an adult? Don’t ask me why . . . maybe their ideas were never challenged in the past, maybe they have no concept of anger management, or maybe ignorance is to blame. Nevertheless, yelling and attacking never solves the problem. Ever. Taking a deep breath might help, however.

I’d like to extend to you an idea that’s been very present in my thoughts lately. There is so much to be gained from clear communication. We live, learn, and love by communicating, and much is to be lost if lines are severed. Ideally, the world as a whole would communicate more clearly, more precisely. Problems would be solved through conversation and war would cease to exist. However, the ability to communicate is a learned skill. At some point, eyes must be opened before an individual can fully realize the importance of communication (including doing so respectfully).

To be honest, understanding yourself first, is the key. I must say, having been on both sides of the game (the yeller and the yellee), it pays to take a step back before your vocal cords get the best of you. And in the end, you’ll still have your dignity.