The Latest Blog Posts From Ryan David
5 Communication Land Mines
Communication is the key to meaningful connections, it's the life blood of a healthy, working relationship. When stated, each of the five following statements below send a negative message and imply or represent a lack of caring, thoughtfulness, consideration, and or sensitivity when it comes to communicating. They are neglectful and fail to consider the other persons message, point of view, emotional state, or needs, and can potentially up end a conversation and leave feelings hurt in the process. If you care about your relationships, and you would like others to feel comfortable opening up and communicating with you, regardless of the topic or situation, make a conscious attempt to avoid these verbal hand grenades at all cost...each of these statements have their own unique way of sending the most harmful message of all, that communication is not important to you and frankly, is a waste of your time...
1. "So what."
You might as well say: "Your point and your words are not valid, because either I don't see where you're coming from and what you mean, or I just don't care. You don't matter, what you're saying is not important to me, or important at all."
This is hurtful and detrimental because its dismissive and careless. It lacks the effort or intention to connect or listen to and understand why something matters to someone else, regardless of how you feel, or what you think about it.
What you could say instead is: "I don't understand why this is important or it matters so much to you, please try and explain why it's such a big deal to you because I don't understand, but I want to."
2. "Big deal."
You might as well say: "I don't care about that, so hurry up and get over it, or shut up. It's not important to me, so it shouldn't matter to you either."
Saying "big deal" is a big deal. It belittles and undermines the importance or magnitude of how much the other person cares about something, or how meaningful it is to them. This creates and highlights a total disconnect from understanding what matters to THEM, not you.
What you could say instead is: "This is obviously something you care a lot about, so I will keep that in mind and consider your feelings about it even though I might not feel as strongly about it as you do."
3. "Never mind."
You might as well say: "Forget it. You're not worth it. I don't feel like trying. It's a pouty way of saying I give up, you are not worth my time. I don't even care right now."
The problem is, most of the time when people say this they do still care, so its also a lie, because they really don't want to forget it, and they won't. It's very passive aggressive and puts the other person at a standstill in a no win situation.
What you could say instead is: "I care about this, but I feel frustrated right now. I'm having a hard time finding the right words to connect with you or reach you, and I want to resolve this, but I think it would be best for both us if we could maybe take a break and talk about this again later."
You might as well say: "I have no desire, incentive, or drive, to meet any standard, or goal with you. Any outcome is acceptable, because nothing you say matters to me."
This is a conversation killer. A dead end and road block to alternatives or any understanding. Also very passive aggressive, sending the message that you are "ok" with anything or whatever someone does or says...which deep down, is really another lie and not true. Once again it says, I give up and don't care.
What you could say instead is: "I'm really fed up right now, and I'm not sure what the point is exactly or what we are trying to accomplish. Can we take a step back and talk about what this conversation is really about and what we each want to accomplish?"
5. "I don't care."
You might as well say: "I can't handle this. I'm angry. I do care, I care so much that it frustrates me not to be able to solve this problem, or understand where you're coming from, what you need, and connect with you. I don't feel like you care so I'm scared to show that I do."
This one should speak for itself, accept ironically, as you can see above, when someone says "I don't care" to someone they love or care about, it usually means the exact opposite of what is actually being said. However, the actual words that are spoken, "I don't care", give the other person no reason or motivation to try and reach you or connect at all. Saying this comes across as selfish, effortless, and inconsiderate.
What you could say instead is: "I feel helpless right now. I'm lost, or at a loss, and I don't know what to do. Please slow down or stop for a second and help me help us."
Most of the time these detrimental statements are made during an intense conversation, a heated debate, or an argument...and most of the time they all have one major thing in common; emotions.
When it comes to emotions and conversation, the key is to distinguish between the actual message you are trying to convey to someone else, and the subliminal message your emotions are sending to you! If we can become aware of how we are feeling only then can we listen to and understand the messages we are sending to ourselves about something, or someone first, so that we can be sure not to complicate or poison the transfer or process of reaching someone else with the real message as effectively as we possibly can.
The bottom line is, if you're trying to communicate with someone, or they are with you, it's probably because one, or both of you, care. Try to be mindful of what you say and stay away from words or statements that would contradict this. Compassion and genuinely caring is a prerequisite to truly effective communication.
Remember, the most important message you can send someone when communicating is,
"I care about you, and what you have to say."
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