How I Have Developed My Communication Skills

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After reviewing not only my entries but also keeping track on my conversations on a day to day basis, I realized that I zone out a lot during conversations especially when I’m tired due to the lack of sleep. I tend to sleep late due to the amount of work that I have to do, and I also get mentally drained easily due to the number of things that I have to do. So, being mentally drained plus the lack of sleep is definitely not the best combination. I do try to force myself to concentrate and listen to what the person has to say. My reason for tuning in is very simple, respect and manners. Naturally, it’s common sense to listen to what someone has to say and to not do so would be very disrespectful to the person as they are telling you these things because they have a sense of trust and they enjoy talking to you and to not listen or be disinterested would be extremely rude and disrespectful. I personally dislike it when others seem disinterested in what I have to say, and it annoys me when I’m talking, and someone zones out or does not listen. With, knowing how it feels to not have been listened to when I’m talking, I would much rather not let the person I’m listening to feel that way. Since it’s always good to start on a good note, some positive listening behaviors that I discovered about myself is that I regularly show that I’m listening by doing things like nodding from time to time, giving comments and maintaining eye contact to encourage the other party to talk more. Since I do enjoy listening to others talk, I regularly ask open ended questions and tend to clarify with the other party if what I understood was correct and I think that by doing so, the other party would very much appreciate it.

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Moving on to the negative behaviors, as mentioned above, I tend to zone out a lot due to my lack of sleep. I also give really bad advices to certain situations and I very outwardly show how I feel on my face and not bother to hide my facial expressions. I realized that the fact that I can be very straightforward about my feelings especially when I’m tired, it contributes to the behavior of me not caring about what the other party thinks and that leads to me showing my feelings on my face. I also tend to not care about other’s feelings when I give my comment or advice. Looking back at the last entry that I wrote, it affected me the most due to personal experience and the fact that I have had experienced having a family member in the hospital, receiving treatment for cancer. I tried to be more encouraging and reassuring towards my friend because I knew that miracles do happen, and I did not want her to feel like she was alone fighting this battle, I wanted her to know that I was there to help and support her emotionally when I could. I did choke and tear up a little when she asked on more details of my mother’s treatment as the memory of the one strong and fiery women slowly turned into a frail and weak one never fails to make me feel like someone just stabbed me in the heart. If I was to pick out the most major negative listening behavior for myself, that would be showing my emotions on my face. It may seem like a very small thing, but looking and thinking back on it, I may have deterred a few of my friends from talking to me due to that fact that I openly show my emotions of my face. And I didn’t know how it felt until it happened to me recently when I was talking to an acquaintance. While sharing a story of one of my past relationship, she openly showed her disgust and disapproval while I was talking about it and frankly, it did hurt to see her non-verbally judging me. Although she said no words, her facial expressions were all it took to tell me what she thought of it, after that, I never bothered to contact her.

Now that I knew how it felt to be judged so openly, I will make a note to maintain my facial expressions to a minimum whenever I’m listening to someone, I will also make a note to catch myself and apologize if I ever openly show my emotions on my face. By doing so, the other party would be more willing to talk to me and I won’t hurt the other party’s feelings. After putting my own solutions and suggestions into effect, I realize that my friends are talking to me a lot more than before and they are more open to sharing their thoughts with me. I’m honestly very amazed at how much relationships can improve just by changing one small little thing about yourself. The fact that my friends are opening up to me more makes me feel much more connected to them and I’m sure they feel much more appreciated and more connected to me too.

Communication is key to almost everything in the world and if only people are more open to improving their communication skills like I did, I think that problems in our lives would be must easier solved.

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