A Pearl of Wisdom

5 07 2009

After a conversation with one of my friends the other day, I came to the realisation that most of the stuff that I’ve learned over the past couple of years isn’t common knowledge among the general populous. So, in this post I’m going to talk about communication, and what I’ve learned.

In a World where communication is becoming easier by the day, it doesn’t seem like we, as a human race, are getting any better at it.

In a relationship, or even in just a discussion, there are three positions a person can take; the position of a parent, an adult, or a child. Parent/Child discussions usually end badly. The parent of the relationship dominates the discussion, often putting the child down and making them feel inferior. The child suffers through the discussion, often feeling like they don’t matter, they feel told of, chastised, and like their view doesn’t matter. The discussion can be become irrational, argumentative and both sides can become frustrated.

On the other hand, if you have an adult to adult discussion, both sides on a level playing field. The discussion is rational, fair, both people can state what the mean clearly, and have the other person listen, understand and respect what they say.

Unfortunately, most discussions go the way of the parent/child scenario. In fact, many relationships function like this, meaning that one person has the power, and the other is resentful. This obviously happens in families. It makes sense in situations, especially early in a child’s life when they need to understand when the parent is in control. However, a parent can continue to teach their offspring like a child well into the offspring’s adulthood, when they should be treated like an adult. This effects them in all other sorts of communications with other people, because as much as a person would like to seem like and act like an adult, there’s still the potential for them to act childishly because that is how they’ve been treated. Whereas a child that has been treated like an adult early on, can be more assertive and confident in their communications with people.

The main thing is to realise which sort of the communications you’re having with people. If you’ve been acting as the parent, or the child in a relationship, you can change that. The hard part is accepting it. But adult to adult discussions have a much higher chance of both people walking away satisfied.

This is the first step people can take towards better communication.

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