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Communication: Feelings vs. Facts


The people who love you want to see you succeed. Sometimes they just aren’t that great at communicating it in a way that we can receive it.


The people who love us have pure, honesty and good intentions, but the way they present information, suggestions or inspiration can sometimes trigger us to feel frustrated, confused, not good enough, and even angry at times. We might find ourselves putting extra pressure on our performance to try to please put impress them, making it hard to enjoy what we’re doing.


It can lead to feeling like their love for us is based on the outcome of a performance. That no matter how much we practice, prepare, or try it’s never good enough unless there is a prize, statistic, or reward received at the end. It can leave us feeling frustrated, defeated, unworthy and sad.


Can you relate to these feelings?


Now, notice the word that keeps getting repeated….feel / feelings / feels like. Feelings are NOT facts. Sometimes the way others communicate can make us feel one way, but the fact is that they love us and want to see us succeed, they just aren’t good at communicating it in a way that we can receive it.


Some things to keep in mind with communication, especially with loved ones:


1) Communicating is a two-way street. You are always switching roles between giving thoughts and receiving thoughts.


2) Both parties are responsible! We are responsible for both how we send messages and how we receive messages.


  • Example A: If I know the way I say something to the people I love consistently triggers a negative reaction, I am responsible for trying to find another way to say it.


  • Example B: If I receive a message from someone I love that consistently triggers a negative reaction in me, I am responsible for digging into why it bothers me so much and figuring out the story I tell myself because of it and changing the story and/or sharing the my feelings with the other person.


3) Communication styles come from generational conditioning. This means that the way we communicate comes from the way others communicated with us growing up. Parents, family members, friends, teachers all have an impact on how we share messages. Unless we’ve had an extreme awareness and worked really had to change the way we communicate, it’s more than likely that what you say and the way you say it comes from your upbringing.


  • Example: Ever gone to another persons family function? Notice how they speak their own language in a way? They understand each other because they were brought up similarly.


  • This can be extra difficult for teenagers because they’re really starting to decide what they’re going to accept and not accept. They may question and challenge communication styles because their conditioning isn’t set it stone yet.


4) Feedback is key: the reaction we get from those we love when we interact with them is important to analyze. Take the feelings out of it and find the facts as to what created the reaction. Ask questions, be willing to explain AND be willing to listen, accept, apologize and adjust!


5) Have grace!!! We’re all humans trying to navigate this world. Nobody is given a handbook with the answers on the best way to communicate with every individual nor are we given a handbook on how to feel about everything everyone says! Have grace for others for saying things that hurt our feelings and have grace for yourself for saying or interpreting things other than how they were intended.


6) BE YOUR OWN HERO: Nobody can change your feelings for you. Nobody can decide what to do about a situation for you. Nobody can change the way you communicate. Nobody can change your mindset or what you hold on to from the past. Nobody can make you accept feedback or give it. It's up to you! Many will support you, love you and give you advice, but you and only you can make the changes and adjustments!


Remember, at the end of the day we’re all in this together! Let’s love one another, work together, say I’m sorry, and explore better / different ways of communicating. Let’s think about what we say, how we say it and how we receive it.


Let’s compete only against ourselves. Remembering that we have no control of the outcome, only what we do! Focusing on the victory being that we came out knowing that we did our very best that we could on that day and that made us better than the person we were yesterday inside and outside the arena.


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If you or your family is struggling to communicate, know you aren't alone! It's normal, it's common and it's part of being human! If you would like to have a listening ear and someone to help you create a strategy that will work to create better communication patterns in your relationships, schedule a coaching call today!

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