Communication seems easy, and we all think we are experts. After all, you have been talking since you were a child , and it comes naturally most of the time. You just open your mouth and the words come spilling out. When you feel happy and close to someone, it is easy to communicate well. You feel good and they feel good and everything seems rosy. It’s when you have a strong disagreement or a conflict with someone that you find out whether you can really communicate well. How well do you do when you are angry , or when someone is angry with you ? How do you deal with criticism ? What do you say when the other person is being unreasonable and refuses to listen to your point of veiw ? How well do you communicate when you feel vulnerable and hurt?
People who can communicate effectively in these situatios are exceedingly rare. But these are the situations where good communication is vital. The key to intimacy , friendship, and success in business is the ability to handle conflict successfully . People have enormous difficulty with this.
Husbands and wives don’t communicate well. Friends don’t communicate well. Family members often handle conflicts and disagreements very poorly.
Just as good communication involves self-expression and listening, bad communication involves a refusal to share your feelings openly or to listen to what the other person has to say. Becoming argumentative and defensive is one signe of bad communication. You may contradict the other person without trying to understand his or her feelings.
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It takes years or even a lifetime to really master communication