Did your mother or father ever say to you, I thought I made myself perfectly clear, you were not to… ? There was probably no ambiguity in what your parents asked of you, but you did it anyway, then had to deal with their anger or disappointment in you. Now that you’re in recovery you may be wondering why you’re not getting the reaction you want, or the desired effect from people, with whom you are communicating.
There are common barriers that effective communication. You could be trying to communicate something while in the middle of doing a lot of other things, essentially multitasking. Perhaps you are stressed out, which is causing confusion or conflicting communication. Your tone of voice sounds angry, and the person on the receiving end begins to disengage from listening to you. Body language can affect your ability to communicate well. You may think you are speaking in a calm voice, but you’ve got your arms crossed over your chest, and your jaw is tight.
Developing effective communication skills takes self awareness and practice. The four parts to communicating well are: engaged listening, nonverbal communication, managing stress in the moment, and asserting yourself in a respectful way. Whether you are on the giving or receive end of communication, it is important to become a listener who is engaged. If you are thinking about your stock portfolio, or whether your spouse picked up the tickets to the opera, or the kids’ report cards, you are not fully present. This can cause miscommunication. Practice given your full attention to what is being communicated to you or by you.
If you do not understand what is being communicated, then it is your responsibility to let the speaker know. People process information at different speeds. In order not to seem incompetent, they may pretend to understand, and go on to mess up what was necessary or needed. What if you’re stressed and late for a meeting in which a friend will be receiving an anniversary chip or medal. When you go up to congratulate him or her, you may come across as uptight because you didn’t pay attention to your stress level. It would have only taken you a couple of minutes to slow down your breathing and become present. Think also, what a smile or other nonverbal signals can do to enhance your communication skills.
Serenity Oaks Wellness Center is a 5-week extensive treatment program to help someone who is struggling from drugs or alcohol. Our 12-Step aspects and holistic therapy combined can show you how to adorn your soul in recovery.
Call us today: 844-720-6847