Why can’t you hear me?

I’m having huge issues with my friend. I’m noticing behaviours that are hurting her and her relationships. How can I tell her in a way she will understand?

It’s hard when we want to say things to others with their best intentions in mind, but aren’t sure how to best express it.

When we are communicating with one another it is very important to keep in mind the ways in which we communicate:

Words: only 7% influences us during communication.

Tone:  38% is about how we say something.

Body language: 55% is our facial expressions and body movements.

Communication is so much more than the words we say.

Most of us desperately want others to listen to what we are saying and to understand what we are saying. We forget that not all people listen and understand in the same way. This leads to miscommunication.

How you choose to speak to your friend may not be how your friend likes to be spoken to. We tend to talk to people the way we want to be heard, not the way they actually listen. 

For Example: I have a friend that believes that sharing emotions during a conversation is important, even if the emotions are anger and frustration. This may cause her to yell. I have another friend who is a firm believer in the statement, ‘If you don’t have anything positive to say, don’t say anything at all.‘ She doesn’t like people yelling during conversations and if they do, she shuts down and leaves the conversation altogether.

You can imagine that when these two friends have a conversation, coming to an agreement that works for both of them, would be near impossible. One would be yelling (tone), thinking it was okay because she is angry and being real with her emotions and the other one would leave the room (body language) upset and hurt because she believes her friend isn’t being nice.

If you want to get the most out of your conversations, take note of how the people in your life react when you speak to them. In order to get your point across, in a way they will understand, it’s important to watch and to listen to how they are reacting when you are speaking with them. By doing this, it will give you insight into how your friend likes to be spoken to.

Here are 4 ways to help you share your feelings more clearly and effectively with your friend.

  • Pay attention to your body language and tone.
  • Speak using ‘I feel’. It gets far better results than speaking from a place of   ‘You are’, which will quickly put her on the defensive. Once people feel defensive, emotions come up and the conversation can spin quickly out of control or just simply end with no resolution.
  • Listen to what she has to say instead of what you are about to say next.
  • Be open to her point of view instead of deciding that she is wrong before the conversation has even started.

In the end, whether she chooses to listen to you or not, is up to her. Knowing that you shared your perspective because you care is something that you can feel good about. If you are concerned that your friend is acting in a destructive way please share your concern with someone who can intervene and help.

Until next time…