Words matter. Really it’s not the words per say but the intent behind the words. Words are the vehicle that can get you to where you want to go in life. However, it’s not enough to just speak your mind nor is it healthy to occult your true thoughts, feelings, and emotions. What is needed is the intent to speak the truth but to do it in a way that is loving and gets the job done.
The manner in which we communicate has much to do with our temperament, our childhood scripts and possible traumatic occurrences in our past. Our words are filtered through these screens. Our goal of being understood and having our needs met may seem unattainable. You have never learned nor ever seen this played out in your family of origin. Either words were thrown about in upheavals of anger or broken promises or silence thickened before your word ever had a chance to enter the room.
However, communication is an art. It’s something you can learn to do and do it well once you understand. There are many books and videos and even classes on the how-to’s of communication. The vital key here is to engage self awareness. First, know your temperament propensities as it pertains to communication. This often reveals the “why” you communicate the way you do in order to have your deepest needs met. For example:
- A supine will layer down and bury their needs for fear of being rejected or hurting others. They rather suffer in silence as a volunteer victim than ever experience isolation. The realization that communicating your authentic self will bring the intimacy with others they long for could spur the supine on to open up.
- A choleric will spew forth words without taking into account other people’s thoughts, feelings and emotions because there is a goal to obtain and no time to waste. All those involved in their “project” may run for cover and progress will be halted. Learning that they will get further with honey rather than lemon could bring better outcomes.
- A phlegmatic may or may not speak up. It depends; as long as safety is in the solution. Understanding that in the long run honesty out in the open is a lot safer than tripping over the buried “stuff” under the rug.
- A sanguine could utilize a “flowery” conversation, hoping for the assurance they will not be left alone. ‘Shop talk’ is fleeting.
- A melancholy is known to prefer little communication, unless absolutely necessary, to get someone off their back. Their words may fall like dead weights onto the recipient. Learning to sandwich a negative statement between two positives could bring more peace to their lives.
Once you know your inborn tendencies it’s onto examining your past. Remember, you are born with your temperament. It does not change. From the moment of birth and onward, your temperament will be shaped by the influences and forces in your environment. Those most often have pockets of hurts, violations and possible misunderstandings that need clarity and healing. Once you begin to connect these dots, you become free to see why your communication hasn’t been effective up to this point and implement more effective use of your words to bring forth the changes you envision for a better, more prosperous and peaceful existence.
EIS Counselor: Anita Arrunategui?Images: Canva Pro