The Communication Secret that will Save Your Sanity

Speak to be Understood

//  “Oooooh, he is sooo irritating! Came home grumpy AGAIN! That’s the third time this week. I don’t even understand what’s wrong. And he always makes me feel like it’s MY fault. Mine? What did I do this time? It’s like we’re speaking two different languages.”

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard statements like these, I would be a very wealthy woman.

No, I’m not quoting anyone in particular. These words are a culmination of many people that I’ve run into over the years: friends, church people, parents at school, shoppers at the mall, people on Facebook, actors on television or movies. You know how it goes. Miscommunication is an epidemic. All you have to do is watch Netflix for a while, and you’ll find dozen of examples.

BUT WHY?

Why is it soooo difficult to understand what other people are saying? Why is it so easy to misunderstand your spouse, kids, parents, friends, coworkers… or anyone, for that matter?

WHY DON’T PEOPLE UNDERSTAND ME? Don’t they know my heart?  That’s not what I’m trying to say. I don’t even think that. Why would I say it? I so don’t understand her. Did you hear what she said? I’m so offended. I can’t even… //

Well, my friends, if any of these words have escaped your lips at one time or another, know that you are not alone. We’ve ALL felt that way at some point.

Communication is a challenging thing.

So, what’s the PURPOSE of speaking in the first place?

Why do we communicate?

1. Agreement?

This sounds like a wonderfully spiritual answer. Do you argue and debate until you finally agree on the issue at hand? If you answered, “Yes,” I’m afraid you are going to be very frustrated in your lifetime.

That’s not what the Bible meant when it said that “The two shall become one.”

If the only reason I speak to you is to convince you to think and believe like me, then I’m going to have to keep speaking until I drive you crazy or wear you down…

… until ‘you’ no longer exist and you become exactly like me

… until there is only ‘one’ of us here.

 

2. Understanding

No, the reason we communicate is TO BE UNDERSTOOD.

That’s the goal = Understanding!

And that totally takes the pressure off of us to change the people around us! They are not our responsibility. They don’t come with a remote control for us to adjust and ‘fix’ them. No, they have to sort themselves out with God.

Repeat after me… “I am not my husband’s Holy Spirit.”

 

Healthy communication looks like this…

  • I speak to you about ME so that you can better understand WHO I AM. I can’t change your beliefs, nor your personality, and I certainly can’t control you. I can simply show you who I am.
  • And then I listen to you speak about YOU so that I can understand WHO YOU ARE. You are allowed to think and believe differently than me. We can be different and still be at peace with each other.

What a powerful revelation!

So, the next time you find yourself speaking with someone and wanting to bang your head on the wall in frustration, ask yourself…

Am I speaking to convince them to be just like me, or am I honestly trying to understand who they are and why they feel the way they do?

Am I speaking to understand and be understood?

 

When we do this, we will change the world one relationship at a time!

Don’t speak to convince. Speak to understand and be understood. Click To Tweet

I believe in you! You can do this!

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Last weekend, a bunch of us attended the Danny Silk workshop in Port Elizabeth called “Keep Your Love On.” It was fantastic! One of the sessions dealt with exactly this issue, and I’ve been ‘chewing’ on it all week. Today’s FMF prompt word, ‘Speak,’ seemed like the perfect opportunity to share it with you too.

If you want to learn more, check out Danny Silk’s book:

Keep Your Love On: Connection Communication And Boundaries

 

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In South Africa, you can order a physical copy from me. Send me a personal message, and we’ll make arrangements.

For more info, check out the book page here!

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Every Friday, I join an inspiring group of writers to write for FIVE MINUTES on a one-word prompt. No editing. No revising. Just WRITE. This week, the prompt word was SPEAK.

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For more information on Five Minute Friday, check out the Five Minute Friday website!

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6 replies
  1. Gayl
    Gayl says:

    It’s so important to listen and to speak with the goal of understanding. Thanks for reminding us of this. I’m your neighbor at #FiveMinuteFriday.

    Blessings to you!

    Reply
    • Shauna Blaak
      Shauna Blaak says:

      Hi Gael! Thanks so much for visiting last week. I’m only replying now, a week late. I think we ALL need this reminder… regularly! Next week, it may be your turn to remind me 🙂

      Heading over to read your post too! Have a great weekend!

      Reply
    • Shauna Blaak
      Shauna Blaak says:

      Wow, Andrew. You even comment in Afrikaans? Now I’m REALLY impressed with you! (Only now am I getting back to everyone who commented from last week.)
      I am so sorry for the horrific road you are walking right now. At the same time, I’m equally inspired to watch you walk it. Well done for caring for Barb in the middle of your suffering.

      Thank you for visiting me again, dear friend! Praying for you continually.

      Reply
  2. Christina
    Christina says:

    I am so guilty of speaking to be heard instead of to understand. Your words challenge me in every good way. Thank you. It takes guts to wait to speak and to listen first.

    Reply
    • Shauna Blaak
      Shauna Blaak says:

      Yes, for sure. I think we’re all guilty of that at one time or another. Thankfully, there’s also grace to forgive each other and try again.
      Thanks so much for stopping by last week. Only now am I finally getting back to replying to everyone. (Eish… busy week.)
      Have a great weekend!

      Reply

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