I just got back from staying with my in-laws in Spain who are very communicative lot, and I always feel quite pleased to have some peace and quiet when we leave. However I have noticed recently that despite my own opinion of myself as a good communicator, I am slightly less skilled than I would like to be. I am ok if I can demonstrate what I am saying through actions, or even write it down like in this blog, but if someone has to do something just based on what I say, I don’t think I always get my message across. This is the same at home, and at work, and most recently after a few pints with my friends, when I managed to upset someone really close to me. I think the right thing, but my voice doesn’t always follow suit, sometimes I am better off just being quiet, but feel the need to comment or respond to everyone immediately, when I don’t have a clear thing to say. This tends to be worse when I am tired, stressed or emotional.
Earlier in the year I went on a mostly silent retreat, which I found incrediblyl stressful at times, as I was having to deal with my own thoughts and process them, before I discussed them with friends and family, sometimes things I didn’t want to think about. Often I use gossip or conversation as a distraction from some of the key tasks I’ve got to do, and not to directly deal with something that has cropped up.
I think as a person of faith, I should be able to keep my counsel, and appear wise and calm at all times, but in reality it doesn’t really work like that! I can be a good listener as well, but often struggle with this as well. My son is now having speech therapy and we are all being asked to think about communication in new ways, which is good as what I am doing now isn’t always working! I have to ask at least three times before either of my children do what I say!
Generally though I think that people are really interested in what I have to say, which I am usually quite suprised about, and if I don’t give consideration to how I come across, I lose some of the confidence and high regard people hold me in. This is a shame, as in most parts of my life, people look to me for some kind of leadership and direction. I also need to listen out for God’s voice, as sometimes he is talking and I am too busy to hear what he has to say.