To Understand, by Michael MamasWhen in conversations, it can be quite eye opening to ask the listener to repeat what was just said and visa versa. Very often, those two statements are very different. Such misunderstandings, accumulated over time, can severely harm relationships. Striving for clear communication, clear understanding, requires that we respectfully and sincerely speak up when something said feels hurtful or incorrect. It is also important to remember that the tone with which something is said, often carries more meaning than the literal words that are used, not only by the speaker, but also by the response of the listener. Anger, resentment, and negativity are not the place to speak from in constructive conversations. Holding such emotions in until they finally explode through words, tone, and action is as unhealthy for the relationship as it is for our physical and psychological health.

To speak from the heart is important, but that does not mean it needs to be flowery. It merely means to, when speaking, remain in touch and in harmony with our soul, with our depth, with the place that lies deeper than impulsive reactionary emotions. Being able to do that when emotions run high can be very difficult, but is essential.

There is a place of wisdom within us all. We do well to strive to speak in harmony with that place. That can be done in even the most objective conversations. Heartfelt understanding is the essence of effective communication. Effective communication is the foundation of healthy relationships.

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