Communication: There’s no way around it

You can delay it, skirt around it, or pretend all is well and fine, but at the end of the day it is unavoidable. There will come a point (like a boiling point or a boost in confidence) when you have be verbally clear to sort out a work issue, a relationship conflict, or a medical problem.

What’s your communication persona? Let’s classify them in three categories: 1)Giving indirect hints hoping the other person will put the pieces of the puzzle together, 2)Internally hoping without saying a word that the other person will recognize the issue (i.e. being a mind reader), or 3)A straight shooter – direct as can be.

My approach these days is gentle, yet descript, but to the point. I’m not afraid to ask the hard questions. I haven’t always been that way. I used to be shy and let things go, always catering to other people even to my detriment. But my life increased tenfold when I shifted to the other side. 

You get what you put into it in life and the more honest and open you can be – the better alignment you’ll have in your life. Need a huge reason to put time and effort into improving communication skills? It will help you decipher other’s true intentions and help you avoid being taken advantage of. This applies in each category of life. Kindness is the centerfold for me when communicating.

Do you feel like your doctor isn’t understanding what you are going through? Do you feel like you are stuck in one place and need to have a fresh opinion? If you don’t communicate clearly with your doctor and/or medical group, your health could be disposable, just like mine was by my primary care doctor before I kindly showed him the way out of my life.  

We all have needs, successes, and challenges in our life.  Communicating can be tough, but it is essential and a skill worth fine tuning.

I’m big on continuing to learn and evolve in life and that includes my actions, my thoughts, and how I approach different scenarios in my life.  I’ve learned over time that staying stagnant doesn’t suit me. I intend to be an even better communicator one year, five years, and fifteen years down the road. Even if you have to practice your “talk” in the mirror to feel more confident or write it down on index cards and present to a neighbor, it’s worth the time and effort. Once again, it is your life and you are in the driver seat. What destination are you visualizing?

Take your job, for example. If you are a great employee and haven’t had that review/raise in the past year, are you the type that will ask? If you don’t ask, who will? I find it uncommon for employers to walk the hallways offering up raises for those who don’t broach the subject.  Waiting for them to recognize and give you that raise is more likely when you make a plan, jot down why you are qualified for one, be prepared to answer questions and explain everything you do, and schedule the meeting. 

Do you choose to instead share frustration with coworkers? Do you just browse for new jobs and hope something appears?  What would make the next company treat you any better if you don’t use your voice? The more negative energy you expel, the more negativity can erode the mind and create an unhealthy work environment.

It’s all interrelated. 

Let’s jump to healthcare next. If a medication doesn’t work for me, I say something and I don’t wait until the next doctor appointment. I call and discuss it with a medical assistant who relays it to my doctor. Do you know anyone who just says “Oh well,” and discards the medication? Why don’t they take proactive steps to remedy the situation and get a new prescription?

I find it quite common that we humans like to complain about things, but are slow to take steps to rectify the problem. I’m trying to break that cycle. Solutions don’t come to fruition without associated positive action. Feeling stressed out? What are you not addressing? Generally, if you take positive steps to address and resolve a situation, the stress gradually melts away. Your family and friends likely want to be there for you and support you, but they have commitments and stresses too. We have to step forward and resolve our stresses ourselves.

If diabetes runs in your family and you want to be proactive at an early age and track where you are at – communicate that and insist that your doctor order the appropriate blood panel for you. I’ve heard repeatedly that some medical groups will refuse to outsource patients to a specialist or order vital tests as a cost saving measure for them. This generally pertains to HMO insurance, where the almighty dollar is desired to stay with the primary care medical group. This saddens me greatly.   

Communication serves a purpose in helping you gain answers to your health, your relationships, and your future with the company. 

Blindly assuming can sometimes be a recipe for disaster. I prefer a recipe for success. 

After a day of medical or work-related matters, how do you show up and communicate at home? 

To a partner, do you say “Why can’t you get off your phone while we eat together?” or do you phrase it more constructive like “I’d really love for one-on-one time without cell phones at the dinner table, as quality time together is my love language.”

No matter the circumstance, implementing stronger communicative methods and taking action can be instrumental in enhancing your life. 

Fostering communication also helps lessen the burden and stress we carry around with us daily which inevitably boils over to other parts of our life.

Increased stress only leads to more health issues, impaired mood, and lack of sleep.

Why not flex your communication muscle and make your life better?

Coming next: Movement is not always medicine