Thoughts on Communication



Whether you are fully at fault or it was a joint effort, own your part of the fault.
1. Own your mistakes. Admit that you made a mistake that hurt, disrespected, violated, angered, etc. another person.
2. Apologize for your mistake. Do not justify. Do not explain. Do not make excuses. Do not blame. Just sincerely apologize. Be sincere, don’t add anything to else to it. DO NOT do step 2 without honestly and sincerely doing step 1.
3. Learn from your mistake. Figure out why you are apologizing, why it hurt them, disrespected them, violated or angered the other person and learn the lesson the mistake has to teach.
4. Figure out how not to make the same mistake again. Come up with a plan to be better the next time around.
5. Commit. Commit to your plan and the lesson learned.
6. Grow from the mistake. Be better. Don’t make the same mistakes over and over again.

1. Accept the apology. If you are on the receiving end of a sincere apology because you’ve been hurt, disrespected, violated, angered, etc., accept the apology when it is offered. Do not further attack, blame, accuse. Just forgive.
2. Have faith that the offending party will be better. If they sincerely follow the steps above and are owning their mistake, or their part in the mistake, then give them room to be better.
3. Communicate. If further communication is necessary, communicate in such a way that you do not devalue the offending person’s apology and growth or devalue the forgiveness you offered.
When you are involved in an ongoing conflict, DO NOT INCITE (fan the flames, throw gasoline on the fire, make a mountain out of a molehill) with your words, your actions, your thoughts. If you have nothing but negative what-ifs, accusations, attacks, hearsay, and assumptions to offer the efforts of resolving the conflict… just DON’T. Don’t incite the conflict. If you can’t offer a level headed thought, a valid outside perspective, a productive resolution, then do not get involved in the conflict.
If all you’re doing is bitching about the thing instead of finding ways to fix the thing, make the thing better, alleviate the thing, change the thing… quit bitching about it. If you don’t like the way something is going but you have no control over it, control what you can control and take yourself out of that situation. If you don’t like the way something is going but you have no idea how to make it better and you have no productive offerings to make it better, either work on getting ideas and productive offerings or get out of it. If all you plan to do is bitch about the thing, but take no true steps to fixing the thing, or changing yourself so that the thing gets fixed, get out of it. If you are bitching about the problem… if you are talking the problem to death but have no solutions, no ideas, no offers of ways the problem could be resolved, get out it until you do.
Everyone has the capability to be rational. Some can do it easier than others. Get your emotions out of your problems and the solutions to them. Think your problems through, work hard at not having knee jerk reactions to things, apply rational thought to the problem instead of fear, jealousy, insecurity, guilt. Take the time needed to come up with thoughtful and rational solutions.
Quit assuming that you know what another person is thinking. Quit assuming that you know why they did a thing or responded a certain way to something. Quit assuming that the way you see the situation is how everyone else in the situation sees it. Quit assuming that yours is the only right way. Quit assuming that everyone is against you, doesn’t like you, doesn’t value your thoughts and opinions. Quit assuming that what is important to you is the same thing that is important to others. Quit assuming that just because you would handle things a certain way, others will / should handle it the same way.
Walk a mile in their shoes. Try to imagine what it is like on their side of the situation. Ask them what it is like over there and be prepared to listen and try to understand what they say. Put yourself in the same situation and try to figure out how you might have handled it and then look more closely at how you did handle it. If you find room for improvement in the way something was handled, then improve it.

Leave room for compromise. Get your stupid pride out of the way and find the middle ground. Figure out where you could spare a little give and spare it. Allow the other person to give what they feel they can give. Figure out if it is enough of a compromise and make it. Don’t have to be right, just for the sake of being right. Don’t lose something important when just a little compromise can go a long way.

Be flexible. Listen to what each other is saying. I mean, really listen. Try to see their point of view, give the valid points they have, credit. Don’t argue every little thing.
Talk directly to the person you are having conflict with. The more tongues and ears involved indirectly in the conversation, the better the chance for miscommunication and misunderstanding.
Talk about the hard shit when the hard shit comes up. Don’t bury your head in the sand because you don’t deal well with conflict or confrontation. Don’t agree to something that you don’t agree with just to end a conversation. Don’t agree just because it might be easier. Don’t stop talking because you’re tired of the problem.
Even if it hurts. Be fucking honest. Screwed up? Own it. Got hurt? Express it. Have a valid concern? Voice it. Need an answer? Ask the question. Need a minute? Ask for it. Make a promise? Keep it.

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