15 Jan 7 Ways To Be an Expert on Mindful Communications
Being mindful while communicating is very important to the success of human relationships, and that is a mindfulness FACT! The type of communication we have and how we connect with each other can either break or make our relationships.
To be honest, most of the discussions we have with others, don’t even have a hint of mindfulness. This is because our ego or stress is constantly interfering with being aware or paying attention to exactly what we say.With the art of mindful communication- my relationships with the people around me, have improved drastically.
Over the years, I took note of the things that bothered me while communicating and tried to study what engaged me and what made me cringe. So here it is, ways on how to expert on mindful communications:-
Be A Good Listener. Listening is the first step toward mindful communication. To mindfully listen means to wait patiently for the other person to finish before we speak. Also, it means keeping our mind focused on the speaker, instead of wandering away.
Be Non-judgment. People who are in conflict or disagreement tend to judge each other during communication. Even when we are on good terms with others, we unconsciously judge them because we don’t see their side of the story.To mindfully converse and avoid conflicts, we need to try our best to refrain from judging the other person’s opinion, story or perspective. We should come to terms with the fact that there is no wrong or right—only different perceptions.
Be in their shoes. I remember hearing a lot of “you’re not in my shoes” or “put yourself in my shoes” To be in someone else’s shoes is to respect their experience by imagining it’s us instead of them living it.When we do this, we develop a better idea of what they’re feeling. We don’t have to wait for them to ask us if we’re getting what they’re saying. What I do is imagine myself in the experience of the other person, so I can harbor understanding.
Be completely present. One of the things that bother me the most is communicating with someone who’s not “there.” Since I have realized how disrespectful it is, I’ve tried my best to be “present” in my conversations.Not being present during communication can range from checking smartphones, watching TV or engaging in anything else during the actual discussion. To have a successful communication, we should put our activities aside and totally be with the person who’s talking.
The first response shouldn’t be personal. This used to be one of my greatest faults in the past. I’ve come to notice that most of us do it unconsciously. When it’s time to respond back, we tend to reply with a personal answer. We either tell a personal story or explain how we intimately feel about it. While it’s significant to back up our response with personal feelings and stories, it’s better not to express them at first.I learned the hard way that the first response must relate to the speaker. “I understand”—as mentioned earlier—can be a good place to start. Then we can ask the person how they feel about it, what they are going to do, or ask them to elaborate.
Letting go of results. When I was younger, I was very competitive, especially when it came to discussions. Come what may, I was determined to be the one winning the discussion. I expected a result. I estimated that people would have to agree with me. I only stopped this habit when I realized that waiting for a result in discussions drains us of energy and in return kills the communication.We should engage in conversations more lightly if we truly wish to mindfully communicate. Not taking things personally and responding in a non-aggressive way are good baby steps toward accomplishing this goal.
Don’t harm. Harsh speech is one of the most important precepts in Buddhism..I am not a Buddhist, but I do believe them when they say that every harmful word that comes out of our mouths is a double-edged sword; it will hurt us as much as it will hurt others.
Nehita is a mindfulness expert who writes extensively on lifestyle management, wellness and ways to lead a healthier and a happier life. She is a part of Aware’s expert team on meditation. She is also an avid artist who spends most her time dribbling amazing stories through art.