May 18, 2012

Say What You Need to Say

I'm gonna tell you something embarrassing that I recently realized about myself.

I've become a little gun shy about open and honest communication.

I think it stems from the part where I realized that I was being (how do I put this nicely?) totally overbearing and occasionally ridiculous, and I decided to take President Uchtdorf's advice, and STOP IT. So now, I've gotten to the point where I'm no longer trying to be controlling or to change the way that people are, but as a result I've become a bit of a pansy about communication. I'm afraid to tell people what I really think about things because I don't want to be bossy or controlling.

How do I manage this? Do you have any suggestions on how to strike a balance that allows for genuine communication that is neither too pushy nor too blasé?


  1. One of my coworkers told me the other day, "Sammy, you're one of the ONLY people I will talk religion, politics, etc. with"
    And to be honest, I spend most of my time listening. I've never agreed (which he knows) with many of his views, and he doesn't agree with all of mine. But I clearly state quite often in our conversations, I see your point, I understand what you mean, I hear what you're saying etc... and often people say those phrases but then say "but" which kind of discredits every previous phrase.Sometimes changing the "but" or "however" to "and" or just stating you're own opinion without the "but" makes all the difference. Somehow, as tricky as it is, you just have to make that person feel like you validate them first and foremost as a person--and then they are likely to be okay with the fact that you have a different opinion. My coworker knows I think he is a great person.He also knows I feel strongly and differently about many subjects we've discussed. And yet we're both open to genuine communication. Super long answer... sorry- I'm into this kinda stuff :)

  2. I was talking to my sister about this over the weekend. It is interesting, because both sides seem to be important (open honest communication and love and respect). So that was the conclusion I came to (not that it means I'm right). If you can communicate your difference of opinion while still loving the person and allowing them to have their own opinion things seems to go best. I think what happens is sometimes when people have a different opinion than us we forget that we love them, or we stop showing that we love them. Another thing I have heard helps is using "I" statements, instead of "you" statements. You did that once with me ... you said "I don't support that", and even though I knew you didn't agree with what I was doing I still felt like you cared about me as a person. Best of luck with the balance!

  3. That is a hard balance to strike. If you find good tips I would like to hear, because I think I sometimes err on the side of overdiplomacy unless I am really mad, and I'd rather have a good balance all the time.

    I have noticed that I sometimes have to make a conscious effort to really listen to other parties when I want to say something instead of thinking about what I want to say next. The annoying thing is that if I listen well enough, sometimes I forget what I was going to say. And it is all great and good for the other person, but my little selfish inside self is not happy about it!

    I loved Dr. Brinley's marriage and family class. He said each spouse does not give 50%, nor do they give 100%. They should both give 110%, and feel like they are both giving up a little more than they are comfortable with, and that will usually lead them to the happiest place. I think the 110 is a little far for all interpersonal relationships, but most people deserve our best listening, as well as our best opinions. Tough question, thanks for making me think!