Rise to the occasion when confronted with a challenging conversation with civility and respect. I’ll tell you how…
We all have our ways and habits of communicating. Some of those ways, may not be endearing to everyone.
It used to be that no matter what, among family and friends, we’d give each other a pass, and lovingly overlook our respective quirks.
So why can’t we figure out a way to be civil around our own family and friends for one holiday gathering anymore?
Here are 4 challenging communication habits and how to rise to the occasion:
1. The Opinionated: If we stopped to listen to why someone holds a strong opinion, we would understand them better. Once we understand, it weakens the disdain we may have had for that person and their thinking. I appreciate when someone takes the time to hear me out. Why wouldn’t I so the same for them? #courtesy
Try this: Despite the differences, recognize that it takes character to be firm in one’s beliefs. We used to hold true that there are two-sides to every story. Let “respect” be your guide, even if it’s one-sided.
2. The Know-It-All: Amazing how some people are experts at everything! And, always need to let you know.
Try this: Instead of rolling your eyes, include them. Ask them, “What do you think about this?” Be amazed at how they always have something to contribute. Who knows, it could be interesting.
3. The One-Upper: We all hate it when we’re telling our story, and someone jumps in trying to “top it.” If we think about it, we’ve inadvertently done this to someone at some point.
Try this: Let them have it. Let their story “top” yours. Ego, insecurity, or an attempt to connect. Why they do it doesn’t matter. Give them this gift.
4. The Woe-Is-Me: Listening to someone who is weighed down with only negativity can be draining. Especially when the story hasn’t changed for months or years.
Try this: Consider what a sad state this person lives in; hopefully you’ll feel softheartedness emerge. Give them a few minutes of your undivided attention. Listen, truly listen with an empathetic expression. Because most of the time, they just want to be heard. With your hand on their shoulder, tell them you’ll pray/hope that their circumstances will improve, and wish them well.
Final Thoughts: We can choose our approach to any gathering. We can go into it with a “let it go” or “I’ve got to make my point” mindset. For a good time, choose to “let it go.”
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