I’m one of those loud talkers. Strong voice, big hand movements, and if it’s something really funny a boisterous laugh with a tactful snort.
I have always been this way. I just love talking! I can think back to when I was a kid in elementary school—getting into trouble for talking was one of my worst fears because nothing is worse than spelling words 50 times each!
But as I have gotten older I have come to realize that being able to express myself is something that can be a very valuable quality. “Excellent communicator” on a resume is desirable in searching for a job, and good networking skills are hard to come by.
I’ve also noticed it’s one of the things successful couples have in common. I consider myself a good communicator in my professional life, but I’m a whole different animal when it comes to my personal life.
Does he like me? Was dinner just dinner? That statement he said in a joking manner, that really hurt!
All of the above are thoughts that have crossed my mind at one time or another, and all those scenarios should be addressed by communicating with the other person, but simply thinking about doing that makes my stomach churn.
Confrontation is something that I avoid at all costs. But as I move into 2016, I’m committed to making communication in my personal life a priority because frankly, I’m sick of being led on.
I wish I could say things like: I’m tired of having a knot in my stomach every time we hang out because I want to jump across the table and kiss you. Or it really hurts my feelings when you tell me to my face that all my friends are “so hot.”
So you may ask, why haven’t I been more honest and open before? Well…
- Words can hurt and need to be chosen carefully. So even though I want to tell the other person what’s going on, I know that I have to think before I speak. I don’t want to be afraid to say what needs to be said, but I know it takes some tact.
- I’m scared of the outcome! He may not like me back. Dinner may have just been dinner and it’s possible that I might find out that I am not his type, he’s not ready for a commitment, etc. And I’ll have to accept it.
- What happens after? I know that sometimes it won’t just go back to the way it was. A friendship/relationship may end or things may be a little awkward for a few weeks.
But here are the better reasons, why you and I should become better communicators:
- We deserve it! True relationships, romantic or not, look out for the good of the other person. If that person is important to you and you to them then your feelings should matter.
- He wasn’t the right guy. If it does end badly, then at least you weeded him/her out! If the other person doesn’t want to talk or blows you off then they probably aren’t where you are or ready for the type of relationship you want; so, now you know! No need to keep pursuing (or even hoping) if they don’t want to pursue you back. Remember, we all deserve intentionality.
- Honesty brings peace. Without it you will never know what the other person is feeling. Maybe you both fell for each other months ago but because of the reasons above no one has said anything. You could have created this relationship months, maybe even years ago, if one of you would have put yourself out there. But if not, like #2, you can move on knowing what is behind you without looking back.
Communication makes us vulnerable, and being vulnerable requires us to step out of our comfort zone in order to let someone in.
I find that terrifying especially because I don’t want to get hurt. But I also want to be in a relationship where communication is open and mutual. Relationships require communication, and even though it may take a lot of work it is also one of the best parts because it allows me to tell the other person about myself, my dreams, my desires, and my inspirations. It’s when I get to affirm theirs, and enjoy ideas with them. It’s how we will problem solve, affirm one another, and laugh with each other. So I am not going to let communication scare me anymore!
Let’s be open and honest about who we really are! This way, can stop guessing, hoping and even fearing starting relationships. We can be on the same page and without reservations.