We communicate every single day
I personally used to find it hard to believe when I was young, that communication is done only through verbal communication by a very low percentage of communication in total. I had to look this up as I didn't remember the exact percentage that I learned about at the time. I found something about the 7-38-55 rule:
The 7-38-55 rule is a concept concerning the communication of emotions. The rule states that 7 percent of meaning is communicated through spoken word, 38 percent through tone of voice, and 55 percent through body language.
Only 7 percent is such a small percentage, isn't it? I found it hard to believe at the time, but I know better now. Along the way, I've learned that the other forms of communication are so important when having a conversation with someone!
Importance of learning how to communicate
I have to admit first that I never actually learned how to communicate properly. The bond with my mother never was tight to be honest, and I absolutely didn't feel comfortable enough around her to tell her about what was going on in my life or things that worried me for example. I think that's been such a loss growing up, not having that, therefore I try to be aware of this myself when teaching my daughter things. I hope that she'll be able to trust me when she grows up so I can offer at least a listening ear to her when she needs that, because listening is also a form of communicating and very underrated if you ask me. Sometimes you just need someone to listen what you have to say, so you can move on. At least, I do.
The fact that I didn't learn how to communicate properly has brought me quite a few challenges in my life. I deeply regret that my mother or education didn't contribute more to this topic that's highly importance in someone's life. The lessons that I've learned were usually learned the hard way and I feel that some damage control could have been done by avoiding these hard lessons that sometimes came with great cost. I hope that schools nowadays pay some more attention to the topic, and I promise my daughter that I will make sure to try to be of more value for her to learn her more about this important topic. Currently, she's still very young and being from kindergarten this long these 2 pandemic waves is not contributing at all to her social skills. I have to admit, I foresee some problems and it's a matter of discussion in our household that we should be aware of them and step in on time.
Not knowing how to communicate made me feel stuck
First there's the fact that I didn't feel connected well enough with my mother to feel safe enough to share my deep thoughts with her, which is not caused by communication at first, but other stuff, most likely her lack of being able to communicate herself. I want to break that cycle with my daughter, and make sure this won't happen to her. Looking back, I may have felt stuck in my head for years before I even recognized the fact that I could not share my thoughts in conversation. To me it was simple: if someone didn't agree with me, they were against me and I felt attacked. I could not separate having a disagreement from being friends, let alone understanding that you can also agree to disagree. In my young adult life, I felt attacked and if someone got frustrated or angry at me for not having the same opinion, I thought this person didn't like me anymore and it would always stay a thing in between us for the rest of the friendship. Sad, but true.
Looking back, I mostly had issues communicating with the person directly. For example, if I'd had an issue with a friend or my boyfriend, I had trouble communicating about this in a normal way, without getting over emotional (sad, angry etc) or feeling attacked. Even if the other person would not raise the voice, I would most-likely be the one doing so out of automatism, not because I felt it was justified. It was my defense mechanism for many years.
On the other hand, I had no problem sharing my feelings with my close friends if they weren't about us a friends but for example me and my boyfriend. I had no issues analyzing the situation from a distance and seeing the solution even. But when it came back down to the one on one conversation with my boyfriend, something would lock in my head and I'd be overwhelmed with the first moment of disagreement.
Not being able to take a step back
Has caused me tremendous issues in my life, I felt that if a problem didn't get solved then and there, it would not happen and I would lose sleep over it and not be able to let it go. I never understood how a boyfriend could just walk away angry in the middle of a fight and go clubbing all night. Those moments even made me feel worse. Not saying that my boyfriend's communication skills at the time were the best, absolutely not, my ex-boyfriends had their ways of deliberately making me feel shit, which obviously did not contribute to the solution in the end.
I honestly wish that my current boyfriend was in my life during those years, he made the difference and he still does. He always says he's lacking communication skills and in a way he does, with text mostly, but on the other hand he's the one that made me analyze my communication skills and behavior and broke the cycle. So I'm thankful for that! <3
Although I'm defo not perfect when communicating, I've come from a long way and I am proud of myself regarding the steps I've made the past years. Compared to 10 years ago, I now at least see my own patterns when I overreact, lack of communication skills etc, while at the time, I would stick to my opinion and would have a hard time admitting my mistakes and part. I have analyzed my own behavior so well that I often even see it coming when I get in a certain vibe again, and even after all these years, I sometimes have trouble breaking the bubble that I'm in and moving forward. But at least I see it now, and I admit it as well.
I noticed that triggers from the past often are the reason that it happens and that almost every single time, it's all connected in my head and therefor may always be an obstacle. The mind always seems to remember..
Something that I've learned that can easily make the difference in an argument, is changing the tone of voice. Often I don't have the intention to be loud, but my boyfriend's reaction shows me that he feels attacked by it, I try to change it when it happens, if I manage to do so, this makes all the difference. It's not easy to do this automatically though, as these things have become normal, a habit maybe.. But being aware of the "problem" is always a very good start to make a change!
Any thoughts? Please leave a comment below! Thank you for stopping by and I'd love to read your contribution to the QOTW <3