Communication and confidence – End of the Day for May 18, 2014

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I often talk about the art and necessity of communication in my writing because I find that miscommunication is one of the largest problems we have today. I believe that if we only began to communicate even a little bit better we could avoid small problems from turning into larger ones. Wouldn’t it be great to solve problems before they even occurred? Like a write yesterday, the need to slow down and pay attention is one way of improving communication. Too often we don’t even hear what the other person is saying. We may hear a few words they say, but in most cases we are already formulating our answer long before they have even finished. You are bound to have miscommunication if you can’t even take the time to hear what the other person is saying.

One great casualty of miscommunication is confidence. It is so easy to feel insult, anger and even despair when someone else is communicating poorly. We see it all the time – the “back handed compliment” from the boss. The “that was good by why wasn’t it better” from the communicator who never thinks you are good enough. The dismissive friend or family member who simply ignore yours wants, needs and desires because they aren’t important to them. All of these can claim your confidence if they continue. Given such input — or even worse — no communication, can leave anyone wondering just where they stand in the world. It can even lead you to start doubting yourself, — a dangerous path to tread. I’m not saying you should be arrogant and narcissistic, but if you think you are going good work, you should have confidence in that work. Don’t judge yourself too harshly if you have nothing but your own opinion to go on.

I recently had a situation where poor communication led me to judge a situation in exactly the opposite way it appeared to the other person. We hadn’t been communicating well over this particular topic for years and, in some cases, we had stopped trying to communicate at all. Silence replaced discussion and I found myself despairing over the situation. I assumed the lack of communication meant the worst. I thought I had done something wrong — was doing something wrong. It was only after a crisis that successful communication was restored. After a few minutes talking, it became clear that poor communication had caused my confidence — at least in this particular area — to plummet. My falling confidence led me to misread subsequent conversations and assume that there was no solution to the problem at all. I was completely wrong. Now, you could blame this on my naturally worrisome personality, but I think a lot of the blame can be found in the miscommunication that started it all.

You can’t imagine my relief when I finally understood what had happened and the truth of the situation. As with all issues that carry great emotion, it felt as if a weight was lifted from my shoulders and my mind. I have noticed in the last few days that my attitude has changed dramatically. Unburdened by my bad communication — and all the problems it brings — I could see a new path ahead. Looking back, I wonder if this issue was clouding my entire life. I had been feeling quite stressed and out of sorts. Now that it has been resolved, my burden seems a bit lighter, my mind less clouded and each day just a bit brighter.

If improving your communication can provide such a lift to your life, why wouldn’t you do it? Are their lingering issues in your life that might benefit from some quiet, clear and honest conversation? Even if the resolution isn’t exactly what you might wish, you will feel all the better for finding a path through to the next step — and the next. It’s time to sit down with those you love and work through some of your issues — together. The life you improve will be your own and quite possible the lives of everyone around you.

Previously on End of the Day:

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