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  • Bella Duncan

Communication


Have you ever found it hard to communicate what you’re feeling?

Or, maybe you have felt like the ‘messenger.’

Constantly delivering messages from one person to another.

This can be a super heavy weight on your shoulders.

Whatever your experiences may be, it is important to understand that communication can be a really good thing.

How? Let’s break it down.

What Is the Purpose of Communicating?

The purpose of communicating can be:

1. To express feelings

2. To be understood by others

3. To get something done

Communication can be verbal or non-verbal.

For example, you might tell your mum, “I am frustrated.”

Or, you may communicate this message through your body language, by crossing your arms or avoiding eye contact.

Communication can also be indirect, via another person.

For example, mum may tell you to message dad instead of doing it herself.

This is where you may be able to relate to the term ‘the messenger.’

(More on this in a bit).

Why is Communication Important?

When you communicate, you allow others to understand how you are feeling, what your thoughts are and the outcome you are attempting to achieve.

Effective communication helps you propel your needs forward.

Without communication, it is really difficult to expect others to understand how you may be feeling and what is important to you.

If you fail to communicate, you may find yourself feeling frustrated and thinking that nobody ‘getsyou.

Communicating can help you explain what is important to you, your goals and what you expect from others.

How Do I Communicate Effectively?

When we want to communicate, it is important that we do so clearly and effectively to achieve the best possible outcome.

Here are three things to consider when attempting to communicate a message:

1. What am I trying to say?

  • First you must be clear in your own head what message you are trying to send

  • Once you understand the message in your own head, you can clearly express what you are trying to say

2. What do I want the outcome to be?

  • It is important to understand what you want to achieve by sending this message

  • Do you want another person to react to this message and get something done?

  • Or, do you want the person you are communicating with to empathise with how you are feeling?

3. How am I going to say this?

  • Are you going to verbally, non-verbally, or indirectly communicate this message?

  • Think about your tone. Is yelling really the most effective way to get your point across?

But I Am Too Emotional to Communicate Clearly and Effectively!

If you have felt a bit too emotional to clearly and effectively communicate, you are not alone.

A lot of the time when we need to communicate the most, there is a lot of emotion involved. This is not necessarily a ‘bad’ thing but rather indicative of the fact that you care about the message you are attempting to communicate.

Let’s consider this simple example:

Your dad dropped you off to your mum’s house 10 minutes late.

Your mum gets angry at you for being late, even though you had no control over the traffic.

Here, you want to communicate that being late was out of your control and you want to respectfully ask your mum to not be angry at you.

But, this happens every week and it is starting to make you really upset that your mum is getting angry at you over something you had no control over.

So, instead of calmly, clearly and effectively getting your message across, you get upset, yell at your mum for ‘being so unfair’ and fail to ever communicate your real message.

So, you might be thinking ‘OK, I do this a lot.’

And that is OK! You are only human, and you are allowed to be emotional.

However, if you can focus on:

1. What am I trying to say?

2. What do I want the outcome to be?

3. How am I going to say this?

You will have a clearer message and a more effective outcome.

Being The ‘Messenger’

Realistically, being the ‘messenger’ is a really difficult concept to come to terms with.

To provide some context, you may feel as though you are the messenger if your parents have poor communication and instead use you to communicate for them.

For example, your dad may tell you to ask your mum what house you will staying at during the school holidays.

Some of these ‘messenger’ tasks may seem simple, however, overtime they can start to negatively impact your life and stunt you from achieving your goals.

This is where your communication is key.

If you find yourself constantly going between your family and communicating messages on behalf of other people, it is really important to consider how this is affecting you.

Personally, I have found that being the messenger has adverse effects. You begin to focus on everything and everybody else as opposed to what is important for you.

Whilst the people who are attempting to communicate via you mean no harm, being the ‘messenger’ is not something that should be your responsibility.

So, in this situation, let’s come back to what you can and what you can’t control.

1. What you can control

  • Communicating to your family that you do not want to be the messenger and prefer that they find alternative means to communicate

2. What you can’t control

  • How your family reacts to this and the process they go through to find an alternative means to communicate

Communicating that you no longer want to be the messenger can lift a massive weight off your shoulders and help you propel your life and goals forward.

Ensuring that your parents or family communicate with each other is not your responsibility.

Is This Actually Possible?

Yes, it is.

It took me 18 years to clearly and effectively communicate that I will no longer be the messenger.

Thankfully, in my situation, this led to my desired outcome and ever since, I have been able to focus on my own life and goals.

No two situations are alike, however, there is no doubt that learning to communicate clearly and effectively can help you focus on yourself as opposed to worrying about everybody else.

As always, this does not mean that you should not care for others, but rather, allow you to understand that others are not your responsibility.