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  • Writer's pictureMona Cooley

Taking Stock

Taking Stock of how you communicate is a starting point to assess how you are doing when faced with painful situations. Communication and patience were not my strongest assets when our family was faced with difficult situations. With communication and patience not working created a frenzy of reactions to situations.

Recognizing something different had to happen was the start of changing how to approach situations. Taking Stock of what was happening is not the automatic thing you would do when you are going through difficult times. You are overwhlemed and wondering what to do to work through the trying times. But realizing it was important to have a better relationship with family members and not having battles has you wanting to do something different. It is not about what you are doing wrong, it is about what you will do different to have more positive outcomes. Communication was the first order of business to improve.

Boundaries needed to be set along with how communication was not happening effectively. I was being blamed for the problems so my boundary was " I was not going to listen to being blamed constantly, if it started - I said no more blaming other wise I will leave and come back later to see if it continues. Blaming does not solve anything, the battles keep going back and forth. When I was told "I was not listening, by the way quit telling me what to do and help me problem solve" - I had to learn how to listen more effectively. Boundaries are part of the process to incorporate to let someone know what does not work and work on communicating more effectively.

When each person can set boundaries with one another in a confident, firm way, this will have communication improving and respect for each other. Listening was not my style, it was more fixing every situation rather than problem solving and blaming was not the answer to improving relationships.

Some tips:

  1. Even though you might be saying the right words, your body language might not be in line with what you are expressing. For example: you are using "I" statements with no blaming yet the tenseness in your body, facial expression and voice tone are telling others you don't mean what you say. " I appreciate you being more engaged in conversation" This is a good statement however if the tone is edgy, others are not convinced you mean it. Say it with care.

  2. Boundaries become an issue when you are setting boundaries and don't follow through with what you say you will do. Again be aware of the body language, facial and tone. When your voice is confident, clear, concise and following through with what you say you are going to do will be taken seriously. Example: I would appreciate you helping with the dishes so I can get you to the mall on time"

Something to think about: Communication is key to better relationships. With all the texting and not having face to face communication is causing more issues. When people hear your voice, see your body language and hear words of meaning makes a difference. Text and emails have the tendency for people to have a different perception of what is meant and your thoughts and feelings clutter what is truly meant. Boundaries set with confidence, clearness and conciseness impacts how each respects each other's acceptance of what is okay or not okay.


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