Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Communication Is Key

Why is communication so important? Why is being able to convey your thoughts and feelings to others so important and vital to the relationships with those around you? Psychologist and author Rollo May said, "Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing."

So communication is important because it leads to understanding, intimacy, and mutual value. In the past week or so, it has come to my attention that I'm not very good at communication. How in the world did that happen? When I'm attending school, my major is speech communication. I think I have a lot to learn. I've found that my unwillingness to communicate or my inability to communicate effectively has damaged some of my relationships. I have lost out on the understanding, intimacy, and mutual value that could have been shared with others.

I realize this makes it hard to get to know me as a person. I find having a conversation of substance is sometimes a difficult task. It is so much easier to stick to the "small talk" or to subjects of no real value. Talking and sharing my feelings has never been easy for me. I don't enjoy it. Still, I realize the importance of effective communication with others and how much it can strengthen relationships. My relationships with those around me are things that I cherish and I am making a conscious effort to improve my communication skills.

It's also important to realize that effective and meaningful communication does not only including talking, but listening also. Author Rachel Naomi Remen said:

The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just
listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our
attention…. A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect
than the most well-intentioned words.
I always thought that I was a good listener. I have to come to realize that wasn't necessarily true. I have a tendency to try to solve or figure out solutions to scenarios and situations that are presented to me. I realize this is not always helpful. Sometimes the other person just needs to vent.

I really want to improve my communication skills. It will not be easy and it will not happen over night. I'm fairly sure that I'll even get frustrated at times, but the rewards of effective communication can only enrich and deepen my existing relationships. My thoughts on this subject may not be 100% coherent. In fact some of the ideas that I feel I have discovered may seem basic and remedial, but these are things that I have begun to learn. I hope that I can work to improve myself and become more effective at communicating with those around me.

1 comment:

Andrea said...

Communication!!! I love it!! I love it, I love it! I would suggest going back and re-editing your latest entry though. Your thoughts are there, but your grammar isn't. :P Only commenting out of love...or maybe because I'm a journalism minor and writing is my passion so make sure you do it right! I use a lot of exclamation points but just to emphasize me point... I use a lot of ellipses to. <3