Communication Without Expectations
What are you thinking? Tell me what are you thinking? Why can’t you just tell me? Some people, when faced with a difficult conversation, find it very, very hard to verbalise their thoughts. When we ask someone to tell us what they’re thinking, we can feel frustrated because we can’t get an answer out of them. We might always feel like we don’t know what they truly think. If this is a person we want to cultivate a good relationship with, getting frustrated with them not only doesn’t help, it may hurt because resentment builds up. Yet we’re human and we can’t help feeing like the person doesn’t care enough to tell us what they think. This is why communicating with someone we care about can be one of the most difficult things in the world to do. What can help, is to first remind ourselves that most people have an opinion, all of us want to be heard or understood, so if someone feels like they’re not able to voice their thoughts, there must be a reason. Every single person is completely responsible for how they communicate. Even if someone thinks they can’t express themselves because of you – that you’re the reason they’re afraid to talk – it’s still something they themselves have to work on, for them to reflect on why they are afraid. But because communication is a two-way thing, it is also our responsibility to create a safe environment for people to talk to us. We have to ask ourselves if we are truly patient, or if we’re forcing ourselves to be patient when inside we feel impatient. Because no matter what we SAY, like “You can talk to me”. It’s what we feel inside that will clearly reflect on the outside. The other party can always tell if we’re communicating with the intent to understand, or if we’re communicating with expectations. When we communicate to understand, that’s the only goal with no expectations of how they should respond, and it’s easier for us because the other person feels that we are more intent on listening more than we are in talking, and that encourages them to open up more to tell us their thoughts. Everyone is responsible for how they communicate, but we can always help each other along, especially if we have the same goals. Focus on the objective, and be happy, always!