It was a eureka moment when somebody blurted out, “Its getting thicker!” Referring to the consistency of the gravy. A mystery resolved. The mystery of achieving a just perfect thickness for gravy. The secret is using a perfectly hot water and mix it together with the gravy powder. Not lukewarm, and not cold water but just a perfectly hot water.
I then realized in cooking, whether easy or not easy, the main key to bringing out the best tasty food is to have an understanding of the recipe or the dishes I am preparing. It actually make sense. I think the best words to say, is to build an intimate relationship with the food your hands are preparing by putting your heart into it.
You may say, it’s common sense. Of course, Lady, you need to use hot water. Didn’t you learn it before?
Yes you are right. But sometimes, I became too focused on achieving the outcome that I carelessly omitted a simple perception of the situation and the facts. Just like in the way I relate with people, I was too focused on rushing in and seeing the best come out of them that I failed to know who they truly are as a person. I was failing to build an intimate relationship with them. Failing to know their needs. Failing to know what matters to them. Failing to supplement what will make them full. In short failing to understand other person.
Today, I am going back to basics. Today, I am going back to my old notes to relearn again about communication. So what is communication?
According to my 2015 notes, communication is a process where two or more people share in a meaningful exchange of ideas for mutual understanding. Communication is not what is said. It is what is heard and what is understood.
What are some hindrances in communication?
1. Not Listening. I always tell this phrase to my daughter whenever I think she’s not paying attention to my instructions, and she was being playful. “Abi you aren’t Listening. Look at me.” Of course, she did the same whenever she was talking with me and I was busy doing things. Mom, you aren’t listening to me. Not giving our full attention to one another hinders our having good communication.
2. No Time.
Quoting Charles Spurgeon, “Now is the watchword of the wise.”I tend to become jealous of my husband’s smoking habit because he seems to invest more time in smoking than in giving his full attention to my story. But thankfully, my husband has improved greatly in this area. He learned to give his ears to my unending stories and become more empathetic and sensitive to my needs. There was just a time that I won’t forget. He willingly sat down and listened to me while I was pouring out my heart to him about my experience at work. He even prayed with me right then and there. Praise God!
3. Pride. When my heart was hardened with pride, I would tend to justify my wrongful actions resulting in my failing to understand other people. Why? Because I tend to focus on other’s faults I notice and not seeing my own participation in why conflicts arise. Just like earlier, when our family (Joshua, Abi and I) went to dine-in to Wendy’s I clearly relayed my idea to Joshua to just get each of us a chicken sandwich. That way we didn’t need to spend much. But at the counter, Joshua asked questions again, and as quick as I can I change my mind and suggest the 4 for $4 which includes (chicken nuggets, fries, drinks and a sandwich of your choice), he had already ordered the wrong thing. In my understanding, we can get 3 sandwich of our choice and a fries for $4, but I was wrong. So at the end, we paid more. My pride reasoned out, and I accused my husband of rushing me to decide while we already had an original plan of just getting a $1 Large Fries and 3 Crispy Chicken Sandwich worth $2.97 + tax, and in this option, we should only spent less. But actually, my fault participation was having a fickle mind. But of course, “Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor” –Proverbs 29:23 (NLT). So we decided to enjoyed our foods anyway and have a clear plan for the next time we are to order foods–communicate well and not rushed.
4. Nagtatampo or Sulky: In the book of proverbs, it says “A cheerful heart is good medicine,but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.” -Proverbs 17:22 NLT
I know, its really heard to get over our negative emotions mostly when we harbor resentment, and deciding to be more upset. But failing to process the emotions in a right perspective by refusing to cooperate and not cheerful hinders building a good relationship to people. Being sulky is self-focused. In my experience with my husband, as I continue to become sulky, I failed to understand him simply because I didn’t want to accept his reasons, as well as I failed to expressed where I was coming from. This opt not to build a good communication to resolved a conflict. The result was a clueless Joshua. Thinking what He did wrong?
5. Fear of Conflict. Conflict is inevitable, but with the right perspective and attitude towards it, it is always resolvable. Actually, in reality conflict helps us to improve. It helps us to build relationships more and understand other person.
In fear of conflict, it is equally important to know the types of communication styles of the people that surround us. But, first and foremost we need to understand our own communication style.
According to Danielle Karell of http://www.online.alvernia.edu, there are 4 Types of Communication Styles:
Individuals who use the passive communication style often act indifferently, yielding to others. Passive communicators usually fail to express their feelings or needs, allowing others to express themselves. Frequently, a passive communicator’s lack of outward communication can lead to misunderstanding, anger build-up or resentment. At the same time, these communicators can be safer to speak with when a conflict arises, because they most likely will avoid a confrontation or defer to others.
Passive communicators often display a lack of eye contact, poor body posture and an inability to say “no.” Passive communicators also act in a way that states “people never consider my feelings.”
But passive communicators are also easy to get along with as they follow others and “go with the flow.”
Examples of phrases that those who use a passive communication style would say or may believe include:
- “It really doesn’t matter that much.”
- “I just want to keep the peace”
It’s often apparent when someone communicates in an aggressive manner. You’ll hear it. You’ll see it. You may even feel it.
The aggressive communication style is emphasized by speaking in a loud and demanding voice, maintaining intense eye contact and dominating or controlling others by blaming, intimidating, criticizing, threatening or attacking them, among other traits.
Aggressive communicators often issue commands, ask questions rudely and fail to listen to others. But they can also be considered leaders and command respect from those around them.
Examples of phrases that an aggressive communicator would use include:
- “I’m right and you’re wrong.”
- “I’ll get my way no matter what.”
- “It’s all your fault.”
Passive-aggressive communication style users appear passive on the surface, but within he or she may feel powerless or stuck, building up a resentment that leads to seething or acting out in subtle, indirect or secret ways.
Most passive-aggressive communicators will mutter to themselves rather than confront a person or issue. They have difficulty acknowledging their anger, use facial expressions that don’t correlate with how they feel and even deny there is a problem.
Passive-aggressive communicators are most likely to communicate with body language or a lack of open communication to another person, such as giving someone the silent treatment, spreading rumors behind people’s backs or sabotaging others’ efforts. Passive-aggressive communicators may also appear cooperative, but may silently be doing the opposite.
Ultimately, passive-aggressive communicators are aware of their needs, but at times struggle to voice them.
Examples of phrases that a passive-aggressive communicator would use include:
- “That’s fine with me, but don’t be surprised if someone else gets mad.”
- “Sure, we can do things your way” (then mutters to self that “your way” is stupid).
Thought to be the most effective form of communication, the assertive communication style features an open communication link while not being overbearing. Assertive communicators can express their own needs, desires, ideas and feelings, while also considering the needs of others. Assertive communicators aim for both sides to win in a situation, balancing one’s rights with the rights of others.
Assertive communicators can express their own needs, desires, ideas and feelings, while also considering the needs of others.
One of the keys to assertive communication is using “I” statements, such as “I feel frustrated when you are late for a meeting,” or, “I don’t like having to explain this over and over.” It indicates ownership of feelings and behaviors without blaming the other person.
Examples of phrases an assertive communicator would use include:
- “We are equally entitled to express ourselves respectfully to one another.”
- “I realize I have choices in my life, and I consider my options.”
- “I respect the rights of others.”
How to Become an Assertive Communicator
Understanding how others communicate can be key to getting your message across to them. In order to develop a more assertive communication style, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Take ownership (use “I” statements)
- Maintain eye contact
- Learn to say “no”
- Voice your needs and desires confidently
6. Culture. I myself am a foreigner to the USA. I do not really get some of the humor and phrases people say in jest. Sometimes, I act tough so not to look ignorant, or, if I don’t understand it, I will just excuse myself and do something. But it does help me to ask questions. We are all part of the same human race and culture creates conflict when something is unfamiliar, but the good thing about it is that with the right desire and a dose of humility, we can usually bridge the gap. I am reminded again of mine and Joshua’s marriage verse,
Colossians 3:15 (with commentary)
“Let the peace of Christ control you (bringing opposites closer together). God has called you into this peace (divine revelation) by bringing you into one body (togetherness). Be thankful (the resolve).”
Despite our differences, Christ has become salvation for everyone. He has shown us the perfect example of humbling oneself for the sake of redeeming from death to eternal life.
“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8).