As I am sitting here reflecting on the areas of my life that needs improvement I find it’s harder for me to easily point them out. I have to credit my family, friends, and boyfriends for the reason I can even name a few. Through out my life they’ve had absolutely no problem with pointing them out for me. Otherwise, I’d be clueless as to whether I had any flaws at all.
According to my loved ones I need to work on:
Improving my ability to listen. I have a tendency to cut people off mid-sentence. I don’t mean to be rude it’s as soon as a thought pops into my head I can't bare to hold it in. This frustrates people as I allow little room for them to finish their thought.
Valuing the thoughts and opinion of others. My family has often called me "Ms. Know It All". I disagree. I definitely do not believe I know all there is to know in the world. I have learned what they have been really getting at is, feeling their thoughts and opinions are devalued. This hurts because I do actually value their thoughts.
My pastor once delivered a message on communication. He asked us, "What tools do you communicate with?" This caused me to reflect on how I communicated with others. I was definitely reaching for the hammer. I can get caught up with hammering my thoughts into them and fail to promote dialogue.
After many arguments and discussions I had to reflect on ways to improve the relationships between my loved ones and myself. I had to think about ways in which I needed to improve our communication.
Steps I've Taken To Improve
- Acknowledgment. I have often heard Dr. Phil say, "You can't change what you don't acknowledge." Well #TrueStory! First, I had to openly acknowledge my flaws.
- Give people permission to keep me in check. I have asked people to call me out on my poor communication habits. Hearing them say things like, "I wasn't finished talking" or "You just cut me off" as opposed to responding in anger has helped to keep me in check and fostered dialogue.
- Ask Questions. I have also begun to ask people to clarify their thoughts or expound on their point of view. Not only has this helped to promote dialogue it openly expresses interest in what they have to say.
- Take a breather. We all have different patterns of communication and speak at varying paces. I have tried to count to 5 in my head when I think someone may have completed a thought. This has helped inhibit my urge to blurt my thoughts out before acknowledging if they are through talking.
I have definitely grown and matured in these areas but, there's always room for improvement.
What flaws are you working to improve?
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