Communication is Key to Successful Relations

It struck me today after receiving a condescending and passive-aggressive email, how essential it is to communicate effectively in order to achieve good results at whatever you are intending to do. I realized after receiving it, I immediately felt attacked personally (yes-I am one of those who unfortunately DO take everything personally) and went on the defensive. I attempted to soften the communication, but ultimately the matter remains unresolved. And now, I still feel badly and the situation is still dangling out there like a baited hook on a fishing line above the water. It really brought to my attention how, if communicated differently, this issue may have been more easily resolved. Adults do not respond well to scolding, but we do love a good challenge and an opportunity to help out-provided it is presented in a way that makes us a hero, not because we feel guilt or shame. We must learn to ask for what we need, or say what needs to be said in a non-narcissistic way, in a way that tells others we own how we feel or offer solutions that engage a discussion rather than pointing fingers at those who have let you down. Owning can be a powerful and effective tool in gaining outcomes that are desired. Here is an example that comes up with regard to relationships: Scenarios of NOT owning it: "UGH! You are such a pig with the socks all over the floor"; "Obviously your mother fell down on the job to raise such a slob" or even "I wish you could be more like your (mom, brother, father sister...) and clean up your things like (they do)". OWNING it sounds more like this: "It really makes me (angry, frustrated, unhappy etc..) to have to pick up the socks on the floor. I would very much appreciate help on that". The difference is owning how you feel about the situation and carefully selecting words that help you achieve the outcome you desire eliminating attack, condescending manners, or passive-aggressive comments. It is not always easy to do this, but do your self and others a favor and give some good communication a go. Remember: You attract more flies with honey than vinegar. Cheers!

Kim Mowery-Smith


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