One of the main factors that hurt my development as a professional, a person, and a partner in the past has been my inability to communicate effectively or at all. 90 percent of the moments in my life where I’ve been frustrated have probably had to do with communication in one way or another.
Thankfully, I’ve changed that.
But a few years back, my decision to internalize my gripes and complaints just made me an angry, bitter person whether it was at work or in any of my past relationships.
When I graduated from college, I remember former employers encouraging me to speak up because no one would be able to tell what’s really going on if I didn’t. And if you internalize in the professional world, people will never know what’s wrong with you. They will believe things are fine when they really aren’t. When it comes to relationships, it’s the same.
I remember numerous instances in my previous relationships where my ex-girlfriends or women I dated would tell me that they never knew I felt a certain way about things. And with some of them, when I relayed my feelings about certain situations, it would be so far back in the past that they would either discount it or say they didn’t remember it. That would infuriate me but what could I do but blame myself. I’m the one that chose not to relay my concerns.
Now, I look at myself and see the changes I’ve made.
In a managerial position at work, I have to make tough decisions and offer critiques of co-workers who I am friends with. I’ve learned that I need to separate the friendship at work to properly help us succeed as a team. I have to relay all my concerns if I feel I’m not being provided with the proper help or resources to higher management; and I have to come down on my co-workers if I feel they aren’t producing at the levels they should be.
In my current relationship, before I even embarked on it, I said I would express everything I feel. To date, I have. If I don’t communicate my issues — they will just accumulate — and it can result in a blowup that can threaten a relationship. It’s a snowball effect.
I’ve seen people lose jobs over a lack of communication. I’ve seen relationships end or be threatened over a lack of communication.
So in the end, the best approach is to always relay what you’re feeling. If at work, do it in the most political way you can depending on the relationship you have with the person you’re speaking with. If in a relationship, you keep it as real as can be. There’s no other way with a person who you are supposed to know inside and out/love.
I see plenty of people say they can’t talk to their own mate or voice a complain at work, but post Facebook statuses all day and 20-30 tweets as well (umm isn’t that a form of communication?)
That’s all wrong.
Just realize that if you never learn to communicate, you could not only be risking your happiness but in some cases, your livelihood as well.
Here are a few links I think would be helpful: