Just a gentle reminder about what effective communication entails.
Emotions can cause us to forget simple truths.
A fact of human psychology is that people respond better to gentle dialogue that’s geared toward facilitating comfort, safety, & validation. What that means is that if you’re serious in trying to change people’s paradigms, which is arguably one of the hardest things to do in life as people identify their paradigms as realities, it’s imperative that the person you’re speaking with is in a receptive mindset. You can correct someone until you’re blue in the face, but if you’ve not communicated in a manner that’s effective, it was nothing but a waste of time for everyone involved & can possibly cause the opposite of what the original intentions & desired results were to occur. This is a huge problem that we’re seeing in the online activist communities. This is why the phrases SJW & PC Policing have become very negative. Even the word intersectionality has acquired a bad connotation because of how the people who were using it were behaving.
Part of facilitating an effective interpersonal exchange is meeting someone halfway. You can have your goal for the conversation in mind when you go in, but you have to adapt & adjust how you are approaching the person as they reveal their own personal paradigm. If someone’s paradigm is so contrary to your own that you’re struggling to find common ground, it’ll be extremely difficult to effectively communicate anything to one another. We have to learn how others think & process things in order to figure out how we can get them to actually listen to what we’re saying & implement any desired changes they agree with.
We cannot force anyone to do anything against their will. This is a fact & a basic human right. To do that is to use violence to try to get what you want. The only respectful & ultimately positively productive way to facilitate change in our society is to treat all humans as individuals who are unique & deserving respect, regardless of what their faults & flaws may be. All humans have both strengths & weaknesses, including you & me, so we have to work with one another to develop strategies that are healthy & inclusive to the different ways people think/feel/act.
A lot of my life was spent bashing my head against the walls others threw up against me, but I was only hurting myself doing that. It made me look foolish & inconsiderate so it caused people to be even less willing to listen to me. I realized that I had to adjust the way that I was interacting with others if I wanted to successfully share my perspective on things. It’s very hard to do, & I’m always learning, growing, changing, adapting, etc., but it’s a very worthwhile endeavor. Ever since choosing to work on my outward presentation in discussions, I’ve had far more successful, positive, & productive interactions than negative ones. I hope to help others learn to develop similar modes & methods for communicating. One thing that I found to be extremely helpful was Marsha Linehan’s DBT module regarding interpersonal effectiveness.
If you haven’t already heard of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, I highly recommend checking it out. There are many DBT groups that are covered by health insurance. I can’t stress enough how life-changing they can be! I struggled a lot the first time I took the IE module. Even the 2nd time I took it. 3rd time was still tricky, but it got better as I started to implement the suggested techniques in my real life interactions & really did my best to take what was advised to heart. I’m still learning, always learning, will never stop, but I can already tell that I’m leaps & bounds ahead of where I once was, and for that, I’m eternally grateful. My life has improved SO much just with me choosing to reflect on how I react to things & altering those behavior patterns. It’s hard work, but it’s fully possible for everyone to do. If you’re interested in learning more about this, please let me know! ❤