As an author, a writer, a healer, a guide I believe that clear communication is mandatory. How that is delivered, I suppose, is a matter of style.
Recently, and not for the first time, I have been accused of being ‘harsh’.
Growing up in a family that mixed its messages like swirled soft serve on a cone, though not as palatable, I developed anxiety around communicating in experiencing the difference between what I heard and what I was meant to understand. I eventually learned the secret code to interpret every message, and installed in myself this a filter I ran all communication through. While it served me in my home, that same filter, applied elsewhere did not work. It seemed those out in the world had their own code, each a different code, and my filter did not work anywhere outside my family of origin. It seemed the same words or actions had different meaning than my training prepared me.
This was cause for much self-inflicted suffering on my part.
Interpreting and reinterpreting hidden meanings took its toll and I suspect was cause to complicate my introverted nature with full-fledged shyness. This made my life more, not less, distressing as I avoided conflict at all costs and that cost ended up being my happiness.
Learning clear communication was my first step in establishing boundaries. Clear messages enabled me to gather the ground beneath my feet, upon which I could build a foundation for the rest of my life.
But clear communication is more than just the message you are sending.
You are also responsible for making sure the message you are receiving is clear. Too often, we assume we understand what someone means when they say something, beyond the actual words. We can interject meanings based on tone, languaging and body posture that may or may not be accurate. Unless we specifically clarify the message we are inferring, we chance being inaccurate.
For instance, the other day I stated to my friend that “in my experience (these efforts haven’t garnered the result I desired).” She heard that to mean I was suggesting she not try said efforts. That was neither my intention nor my words, but her installed filter led her to that conclusion…which in and of itself is not harmful, unless you don’t clarify it. Had she just clarified by asking, “so I shouldn’t even try?” I would’ve responded with a more clear message, such as ‘Trying is up to you, however, I recommend that you form no attachment to the outcome and give it only the energy you feel is right for you.”
By the same token, it would’ve benefitted me to clarify as to what she was seeking from me, by sharing her story.
Was she looking for support? Information? Validation? Or just a listening ear with no feedback? I presume that when people use our time together to discuss situations or feelings, they are of import and I treat them as such…often thinking this means they desire my input.
I endeavor not to therapize my friends though, so the rules are a bit different than when I work with clients. If you are a client, then you’ve consented to my input by hiring me. If my message isn’t clear with you as a client then I am wasting your money. I do not sugar coat things as I see it as disrespectful and a waste of your time. If you are coming to me, then no matter the issue, what you have been doing hasn’t been working and I’m going to need to call that out clearly to help you break out of that rut.
I make a distinction between being harsh and being direct.
‘Harsh’ to me, lacks empathy or sympathy. ‘Direct’ to me, is clear and succinct, taking the guess work out of it. You might not want to hear what I have to say, but it comes from my heart. I see “direct” as coming from the heart. Harsh, I see as coming more from ego.
It isn’t a popularity contest…not for me, anyway. I’m not about to waste anyone’s time, just simply telling them what they want to hear. But I don’t go out of my way to be heartless and harsh about it either.
There is no easy way to clearly communicate messages that no one really wants to hear.
I love you.
Jade’s work is different and we think you will find it effective and economic. It combines Jade’s knowledge and skills cultivated over three decades of psychiatry, human services, hospice, geriatrics, crystal healing, QiGong, Reiki, and Therapeutic Touch with her natural Spirit given gifts of intuition and being an empath.
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