Understanding meaning in what another human has to say can be difficult. Imagine a bird who tries to communicate something by pecking aggressively at a windowpane. At times, it’s that unclear as to what their intention or message informs us at that moment. We’ve all been in situations where we were dumbfounded. The concept is not clear, and we don’t get the message they are trying to convey.
Maybe we are distracted and not entirely focused on “hearing” them. That’s an easy fix, listen better. Pay attention and stop trying to figure out how to respond before you’ve fully digested the speaker’s input.
Sometimes it is a language barrier. Feeling unclear can add a level of concentration to determine intention with meaning. Being from different cultures may confuse what objects represent in the other person’s language, or even the translation to our native tongue could vary slightly. Heavy accents will further make communication problematic. Slow, deliberate speech can help any misunderstanding, and asking to clarify can go a long way to understanding each other better.
Incoherent rambling isn’t about making sense, it’s merely ineffective word usage and possibly brought on by overwhelming emotions. Or mental illness. They feel no clarity, so why should there be any precision in rationally emoting? This type of speech will lead to frustration and absolutely no comprehension on the part of the listener. It’s very unproductive, leaving the receiver of the information and speaker equally without a clue as to how to move forward with the conversation.
Some people suck at communicating. It’s like they speak one language and we hear a different one. The logic employed by the listener for understanding seems to be unique to just that individual, and the speaker utilizes another rationale in orating. In other words, the person speaking follows their path from point A to point B, but this journey may be the opposite for the listener.
Then add to that the layer of how intimate the connection with that person is. You tend to think you know what your friend, partner, or family feels about things, so naturally, that should translate into having more comfortable conversations, right? WRONG!
It’s frustrating to be talking to each other only to determine you are entirely missing each other’s perspective. It halts progress for understanding. The more we are frustrated, the less we are inclined to genuinely care enough to want to know what each other’s interpretations are.
Both parties thinking they are communicating effectively sometimes also have a desire to be heard rather than wanting to understand each other. It’s the “who’s right and wrong” scenario in the end. All you hear is emotion wishing to claim dominance and, ultimately, victory. It’s deafening. And it’s defeating what communication should be about – exchanging, conveying or sharing information, disclosing something of importance and a means to connect to others through discussion.
Realize that each conversation we have will be different. All individuals have unique speaking styles, and it matters the type of relationship two people have. Ultimately, the goal has to be mutual respect first. It starts with giving full focus and attention. The presentation of the information is what it is, and adjusting to it means leaving personal biases and interpretations behind while ingesting the data. When we also choose to utilize a keen sense of diplomacy during the discussion, then the interaction can be so much more transparent and more accessible to grasp.
How grand when we can leave eye-squinting moments behind and realize wide-eyed light bulb moments instead! And then, just like that, another avenue of connection has been established.