It is my experience and opinion that there is a core barrier to communication that creates every other barrier, they are called pain spots. Pain spots are emotions that are often connected to shame, guilt or fear. When a person is unsure about another person’s intention, perception and response to them, they will conceal their feelings for fear of exposing their weaknesses and becoming too vulnerable. When this happens, an authentic conversation is impossible because the person doesn’t feel safe.
In order for communication to be effective each person engaged in the conversation has to feel safe. They have to trust that you will hear and respond to them with respect and compassion.
Here are 3 tips to help you move beyond barriers to a more effective and healthier relationship through communication:
1. Pay Attention: listen attentively and watch carefully to how the person is communicating. This will let you know if they feel safe and how to create a safe space for them to share their feelings with you.
2. Identify and Work Toward Common Goals: Never ignore “the elephant in the room.” To pretend that something isn’t wrong when you know that it is only confirms that you and the other person have an inauthentic, unsafe relationship.
3. Trust the Process of Communication: Communication works when you are open, honest and compassionate. Most people are reasonable and will appreciate your attempt to hear and understand them. In most cases, they will mirror your sincere attempt to improve the relationship.
S. Renee is the author of 5 Steps to Assertiveness How to Communicate With Confidence and Get What You Want (Callisto Media, May 2018)
Copyrights 2018 S. Renee Smith.