Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Learning How To Communicate

My sister and I can communicate so well, sometimes, few words need to be spoken to be understood. She knows me, my emotions and is so intimate with my ways - that she can tell when there is a HINT of anything bothering me. Mind you, she's known me for 25 years.

My girlfriends, whom I haven't known for nearly that long, and definitely less time than my husband totally get me. We don't argue, because even when we disagree, it is totally civil, and more of a debate.

For me, it is soooooooooooooooooo easy to communicate with girls. Boys... that is a whole other thing.

My husband, frustrates me to no end when it comes to communicating. I often say we don't speak the same language because we fail to understand each other. I fail to understand the words that come out of his mouth too. Sometimes, we are even agreeing and we don't even know it.

And it's not just my husband, it's other men also. Men at work - their words tend to be vague, like they're fishing for an answer.

It just doesn't come easy... and I'm certain that they feel the same way about me. For instance, I usually wear skirts and dresses to work. We have no dress code - and most people wear jeans daily. I decided to go comfortable today, and a manager asked me why I was dressed so casually. I said... I'm a woman, so it's my perogative. He waxed on about how women have to dress for their job, yada yada yada... I was past offended...

But I digress, I've learned a lot. With my husband, I've learned what he needs from a conversation to fully understand. I have to ask questions and then confirm what I've heard... it's a bit tedious, and I find I have to be quite strict, but it works. We both want to be in control of the situation - and he wants to end the fight and I want to win it - neither are condusive to solving the issue.

At work, I have to remain calm and professional at all times. No matter how hot the fire is burning inside of me, I have to keep cool. I'm a fan of the line "fake it until you make it" and I have to fake fake fake it sometimes. I have threatened to beat people up before, and it has only been half jest. In being calm, and opening my ears, I take on more than just the words are being spoken. I watch the body language, the facial expression - and combined with the tone of voice, I can usually deduce what is going on. With one particular fellow, I figured out that he was overly aggressive in the way he spoke to me, because he felt completely impotent and uncertain of what was going on. He pressed me for answers to questions he did not now how to formulate and his frustrations came out as bitterness. But, my understanding nature, has eased that transition... he's still an ass, but I can tolerate/deal.

Learning to communicate means so much more than just talking. It means taking in the entire picture, it means understanding and above all, it means thinking about where the other person is coming from. My little girl is easily frustrated and I have to constantly remind myself to get down to her level and see what it is that she is frustrated about. When you do - you are looking at the world through her eyes, and it is an eye opener.


Jamie said...

wow. sounds like way too much work. My hubs and I often have communication problems. I usually blame it on the language but i think it's really man/woman issues. frustrating to say the least.

ALPHA said...

**sigh** i think that's the reason why my hubby and i argue a lot lately. we are in dire need of better communication.