No day goes by that we don't communicate; verbal, non-verbal, or self-talk. We usually don't notice how our communication style affects other people or ourselves. It all depends on what mood we are in how we feel about specific subjects or discussions.
I just started another workshop in communication, which makes me also pay more attention to how conversations arise and how they influence me every day. There have been a couple of situations where I didn't understand why there was an emotional exchange. For example, I put a box away that I usually was placing in the staircase, and my husband couldn't find it. When I explained where it was, we had a back-and-forth of hows and whys and becauses. In the end, did it really matter? Of course not. How many situations do you come across to realize that it wasn't worth the invested emotions and discussions? I want to shed light on how and why we get here and how to get out of it.
It all starts with our self-understanding, self-awareness, and tendencies. In this particular case, I have no idea what went through my head that I put the box where I placed it a year ago. Actually, in the past few days, I did a few things that I haven't done in a specific way. So why and how did this happen? Well, there isn't a good explanation that will prevent us from doing so, our minds are easily somewhere else, and this can happen all the time. When we understand that our minds have control over themselves at times, many issues can be resolved, if... And this is a big IF, and probably an essential aspect, if we can let go of the past.
Our discussion could've gone on for a long time and could still be happening behind the scenes if we didn't just accept that it was misplaced. Okay, this isn't a great example as we are talking about an object, so our emotions aren't really as invested. It gets more interesting when our emotions get the best of us, and it could linger with us for days, because of possible personal criticism.
The emotions we feel in a discussion or difficult conversation can get our ship rocky. Mainly because our feelings a lot of times stem from somewhere else, like childhood, previous relationships, or other unresolved experiences. This is when our self-reflection of understanding, awareness, and tendencies become relevant. When we review and begin to understand the origin of certain emotions, we can reduce discussions that aren't worth having.
A recent podcast with Deb Dana about "Befriending Your Nervous Systems" showcases how our nervous systems are the primary regulator and informant how we perceive and react to information. She also emphasizes how our breath is the key to our relationship with ourselves and others. By connecting our body and mind with our breath, we are more likely to create a habit of awareness and begin seeing the situations for what it is and not for what we think it is.
A lot of times, our thoughts are taking over and determine how we should be feeling instead of what is going on. It's a practice that isn't done in one go. It is like many other things in life, like cleaning our homes, that needs constant attention. Also, our days are filled with new experiences and new encounters. The only thing left for us is to revisit our internal relationship with each situation and understand what has shifted in our minds, bodies, and surroundings. Giving our conversation another try to reevaluate what our concerns and true worries are, objectively, will support a better basis for our next discussion.
So when we get caught up in a hamster wheel of discussions and emotions, all we can do is taking a pause, a few breaths, reflect, and start a conversation anew.