What is your communication style?
Ugh! I am a “talker outer.” I want to talk about it, dissect it, rationalize it, justify it, from all perspectives. This is great if you’re dealing with someone who is the same. I am a good listener. I believe listening is crucial and to listen carefully before you respond. Many times people are already deciding how they will respond before they actually hear the full statement. This clouds judgment and you miss the details that aren’t obvious when your brain is already on to what is next on YOUR mind, and not hearing what the other person is saying.
I write things down. I make notes before the conversation if I have an opportunity. This helps me stay focused. I know it can be annoying to my significant other when I’m checking notes like I am in a meeting, but it helps me stay focused a bit.
The problem is, while I know how to communicate effectively (use to teach classes on it), I am an extremely emotional person. My emotions are visible when its personal. I can go to work and no one will know I’m struggling but I can’t hide anything from the one I am in a relationship with. If it is a sensitive issue, I also get frustrated because I am a crier. I cry when happy, sad, touching, it doesn’t matter. There was a McDonald’s commercial that centered around a big brother and little sister and sharing French fries when they were younger and then flashes forward and they are older and she is on a date (at McDonald’s) and he just looks at her and smiles and holds up a French fry. I was a bawling mess. I wish I could control the waterworks but I can’t. When the crying starts my communication skills go to hell. And, if it looks like bad news or I am going to disappointed or sad, I have zero control over any of it.
What happens when you try to communicate your thoughts or needs?
This varies on the situation. If I am calm and it is a decision that is impactful but could go either way and we are just concerned with the “best” outcome, I can be calm and functional. If I am fearful, or if it is conflict, I lose all control. I get scattered and it all becomes what is in my head, what my anxiety and fear and worry make it out to be. I shake, cry, and then calm myself down. I tend to feed off the other person at times. Not always. This is hard because currently going through something tough has all of that and how I handled it in the front of my mind. I try to stay calm. But my fear of conflict and how I avoid it has me, at times, quiet and non-responsive and not saying what I am really feeling.
Like most people, I walk away and all the things I should have said come to mind. I have beautiful conversations in my own head where I am strong and determined and detailed about my communication. My responses are not emotional they are well thought out when I am alone and having these conversations in my head. At the time I tend to be responsive and emotional so I don’t always articulate the way I want to. If I tell someone who they have hurt me, a simple “Is that what you think of me” will have me doubting my thoughts, even though I know I am right. This causes me to back down. This is the most frustrating thing about myself.
Thoughts provoked by Loving BDSM.