Why do you have the feeling of not being always understood?! Discover 10 myths that explain why and start paying attention today for a better communication for tomorrow!
ENGLISH DISCLOSURE: I’m from Switzerland (yes, chocolate!) so English isn’t my first language. Please forgive me for my mistakes 🙂
✓ Should I read this? Read this if you’re interested in discovering why communicating isn’t easy as we think it is and what beliefs you may have about it.
✓ How is it going to help me? First, you will discover the reasons that you may be misunderstood sometimes, you will less take things personally and second, you’ll get to use a great tip that really changes everything to me when I’m communicating with people 🙂
10 myths about communication
Here’s the deal…
You feel like people don’t understand you.
Or that you don’t understand others, that there is a “communication problem”.
You are wondering: but if I’m saying this, why does it seem that this person understands something completely different?! I’ve been super clear!!
Well, I truly understand you. And it can be super frustrating.
But the good news here is that it doesn’t need to be this way!
In this article, you’re going to discover 11 myths about communication.
The moment you’ll read them, you will think about it and feel like “Ahhhh”, this makes sense!
From that moment, you’ll never judge yourself or others for bad communication, because you will understand that there are reasons why it makes you feel this way!
If you understand this, I’m telling you, it will change your life 🙂
Let’s get into it!!
The 11 communication myths
1. “Some people were born being great communicators”
Nobody was born with great communication skills!
I hear this a lot from tons of people, but everybody can learn and this is what I did recently. I always say that we should learn this at school!!
The trick here is to continuously continue learning and the more you practice (with your friends, your spouse or in public), you’ll get better and better at it 🙂
2. “If I’m using these words, I will be understood…”
You can say something but the way you are saying it is also very important!
I remember that I used to feel bad saying “no” to people. So, I was kind of saying “no” but I was kind of apologizing while saying it and I felt like people didn’t understand that I really meant “no”, without being mean or anything, you need to stick to what you want to say and to feel the way you want to feel about it!
3. Communication will solve everything…
Unfortunately, not always.
You probably have the example of a relationship (with a friend or a boyfriend/girlfriend etc.) that, even after talking hours about something, you still disagree and you’re not planning on agreeing or come to an agreement.
This is why it’s very important to communicate most of the time, but sometimes I also think that we should do as dogs are doing it with their excrements: bury it and move on.
Sorry for the example 😉 but you understand what I mean.
Not everything needs to be or can be fixed and sometimes, as hard as it is, we also need to let go of stuff and take ourselves less seriously.
The first time you’re reading this line, you’ll probably feel like I’m exaggerating 😉 but it’s true: try to think how much energy it is taking you to move on from that disagreement or how much it’s costing you to try to fix it (considering that it can be fixed!).
4. Communication is one-way…
Actually, even when we don’t answer anything, we are still communicating.
This is why there is never only “one-way” in communication. There is someone who says something and there is the other person who is responding, no matter if he’s talking or not, he’s “reacting” which means that communication is never a one-way scheme.
5. The message sent is the message received…
But it isn’t the case, because everything that is being said will be interpreted through someone else’s “glasses”.
I like using this illustration, so you can understand that we all have different “glasses”, different ways of looking at things, depending on our values, our beliefs, the way we see the world, what’s good and not good, etc.
I know that it can be very frustrating, but we need to understand this to start feeling empathy for what has been said and what has been in fact understood 🙂
6. Body language is more important than verbal language…
Not necessarily… It’s true that you cannot lie with your body or at least, not as much as you wish you could!
You cannot say whatever you want just because you think that you have great body language communication skills 😉
It goes together: be as clear as you can with the words you’re using and have some congruence, some connection between what you’re saying and how your body language talks for you.
7. What a person says to you or the way she expresses herself means something about you or your behavior…
Everything that a person thinks, feels and communicates say something about THIS PERSON, not about you. It’s all about her beliefs, her way of looking at life and how she’s interpreted everything.
For example, if this person says “you don’t have time for me”, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t have the time for this person! It’s in her eyes and in her interpretation of how things should be…
8. No matter the age, we should be able to communicate with everyone…
I also wish this would be true.
Everybody is talking with their own belief systems, they are talking considering their experiences, things they’ve been through, their values and what they think is essential in their eyes.
And it’s completely legitimate!
The best example is always one of the conflicts between generations. They may think that the best way to work for them is to be part of a big firm and to grow inside this firm for the next 10 years.
Try to convince someone that is 30 today that this is the way to go 😉 you would be lucky finding someone aged 30 that stayed 2 years in the same company…! 😉
So, it’s not that easy to communicate with anyone, this included the difference of ages but also the difference of cultures.
But again, is it necessary to always communicate about everything with everyone? I truly believe that I don’t need to agree on everything with my grandparents to have a good relationship with them!
I really feel like you cannot force it, the example about the career is very good because it shows that what makes sense to them is because of the reality of the past, today, things are very different and there’s no absolute need to convince them about that 🙂
Again, we need to learn to let go… To free ourselves! 🙂
9. Everything always needs to be said…
Not at all.
Lots of people would say that it has something to do with honesty and that honesty is a great value that everyone should respect, but again, it depends on what are your core values:
But again, not everything needs to be said.
There is something that many people use to think if something needs to be said or not:
You can use it and decide if you still feel like saying it, who will it benefit…? The person you’re talking with? Or just yourself…?
10. During fights, what has been said is always the deep truth…
I always thought that!! But actually, this isn’t true neither.
Sometimes, things that aren’t said can come out in a fight, but a lot of the time, it’s part of the fact that we let ourselves be the victim of our emotions.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t listen to our emotions oh no! I’m really part of these people thinking that we should simply learn how to deal with them, what do they say about ourselves, they are the mirror of our inside 🙂
But during fights, we might feel emotions like sadness, anger, unrespected, etc., that make us feel like we want someone else to feel our pain and so we may say things just because we want to hurt the other so that he can also feel our pain!
A friend confirmed this and told me that she realized that she was saying things that she really doesn’t mean (because she deeply regrets saying them after the fight, after the emotions “passed”), just to hurt this other person so he/she can feel her pain.
It makes total sense. This is why we should really discover our emotions in order to be more in control.
But this is part of a completely different subject 😉
THE brilliant tip
I wasn’t too sure how to say it so I just translated it from French, wait, I’m going to explain it to you 🙂
When I learned how to coach, we learned different techniques and discovered different tools including NLP.
What is NLP?
There isn’t a better way to say it than what I found online:
“Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is an approach to communication, personal development, and psychotherapy created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in California, United States in the 1970s. NLP’s creators claim there is a connection between neurological processes (neuro-), language (linguistic) and behavioral patterns learned through experience (programming), and that these can be changed to achieve specific goals in life.”
In this approach, they are saying that a powerful tool for communication is synchronization which means in my own words “being on the same emotional level as the other person we’re communicating with”.
Let me give you a quick example that will help you understand: you lost something and you start getting super mad. The worst here and we all experienced it, is someone being next to you and telling you in a quiet voice “calm down, breath deeply”…
It’s so nice of this person trying to be helpful, but he’s not helping at all in fact!!
All that this person should do, is to synchronize with you which means, standing up, keep her voice to the same level as yours and move into actions that are responding to the way you feel and express yourself. For example, talking to you in the same tone “Oh nooo, this is so annoying, wait I’m going to help you finding it!”
It gives legitimacy to the person that is expressing her frustration. This step is very important, she first feels supported and understood (isn’t something we all deeply want?)
It’s all about being empathic to this person: what she feels, how she’s expressing herself because let’s not forget, everyone is trying to fulfill their own needs.
Be empathic, be synchronized
So, no matter what situation you are, try to be empathic with what the person is going through how she feels, how she expresses herself, how she moves.
Imitate the way she is feeling and they will forever be grateful to have you around, they may even tell you that “finally, you are someone that understands her/him” 😉
You may also be interested in…
- Improve Your Relationships Using Nonviolent Communication
- What Are Your Needs In Life And How To Take Care Of Them
- 15 Habits Of Extremely Successful People
- Comparing Yourself To Others: The 10 Things You Will Want To Hear
What do you think about these myths?
Can you think about another one that could fit in this list? Let me know in the comments section 🙂