GOOD COMMUNICATION is the heart of every relationship. Sadly, a lot of people (if not most of the younger generation) has very poor communication skills. A lot of families operate in dysfunction, even Christian families. Parents have not been taught how to communicate effectively and in turn pass on bad and destructive habits and patterns to the children.
Poor and destructive communication like: when you are angry, you stop talking to everyone and when asked what’s wrong, say things like, “I’m fine.” People sweep problems under the wrong instead of talking through the pain. You want to pretend like it never happened and so there’s no apology for bad behavior, leaving the other person feeling lost or angry because they cannot talk about the problem with you. People use silence to manipulate.
Bad communicators will defend, deflect or deny when confronted with something. In our house, we say, “Confrontation reveals character”. How you respond when corrected reveals a lot about you. Proverbs tells us that “he who does not receive instruction is stupid”. Obviously, I’m not going to solve your communication problems in one post. But I can give you a few tips to work through things.
I watch and listen to people all the time and there’s one thing that bad communicators have in common: They assume something. Never, ever assume that you know what someone means or why they are acting a certain way. Be brave enough to ask them “what’s wrong?” If they refuse to tell you, then let it go. It’s not on you. You are not responsible for their feelings. Healthy confrontation is good communication.
Most people associate the word confrontation as being negative; and it can be negative. But if done correctly, in grace seasoned with salt; it is good communication. “The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious and adds persuasiveness to his lips.” Proverbs 16:23 ESV“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”Colossians 4:6 ESVHere’s a few tips:Don’t let things go that continue to bother and eat at you.
If you can’t truly forgive and forget, then it needs to be addressed for the sake of the relationship. Things left to themselves rarely get better. Do not think what will happen IF you say something; think what will happen you if do NOT say something. Use “I feel” words instead of “you did this to me” words. Tell someone how you feel. Always start out in a positive way, “I love you (care for you, etc) and I need to talk to you about something”.
Don’t point fingers. Ask questions. “What did you mean when you said this? I’m not understanding.” Help me to understand your POV. Open up the conversation by allowing them to let down their defenses. Use the great communication rule: seek first to understand before being understood. Stay on target. With certain people, you will have to redirect the conversation.
Certain personality types will avoid these conversations by either attacking you or trying to change the subject. If you came forward to confront someone, it’s not their time to attack you and tell you everything you have done wrong. Gently remind them we are addressing the problem you brought to them. If they need time to think, allow them that time. If they need to reconvene in a day, then allow them that time. Not everyone processes things the same.
Always apologize for your part in the problem; but don’t allow them to turn it all back on you. This is what manipulators do. They have a part to play. I will tell you that manipulation is a tool of the enemy. Parents, if your child uses manipulation tactics to get what they want; nip it in the bud fast. We don’t allow this kind of behavior in our home. Be specific. Do not “beat around the bush”. People are not mind readers.
Be brave enough to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. People cannot change if you’re not honest. Yes, you might hurt their feelings; but hopefully this is not your intention. Our intention is always to seek peace. Peace is rarely sweeping problems/conflict under the rug. Conflict not dealt with is like old skeletons in the closet. They will come out someday, somewhere, somehow. Lastly, if people are unwilling to change or address their bad behavior, if they continually make excuses for their sin and manipulation; it is good and right to set boundaries.
The best advice I ever got was from an older wise woman who told me, “you can love from a distance”. I was seeking so hard to put a relationship in proper order and this person continually disrespected me and my husband. I was heart broken and her advice gave me freedom. Caveat: this is not an excuse to cut people out of your life! Listen to the guidance of the Lord and wise people. We are to seek reconciliation, but it’s not always possible. There are relationships that are for you, and there are relationships not for you. I believe in divine connections and divine disconnections. Be teachable. Learn wise instruction and mature in the Lord. #runyourrace
To Learn More About Pastor Crystal please visit the Leadership Page