How many times have you experienced miscommunications with a friend, family member, boss, or loved one? Often times a difference in perspective leads to the miscommunication. I have discovered that no two people can ever have the same perspective, due to one’s life experiences that creates one’s own unique filter and lens in how they see the world. The inability to convey or articulate how one truly feels can further complicate matters; this may be caused by fears of being vulnerable and transparent. Frustration sets in due to not articulating what one truly wants to express and reacting to the tone or words used by another.

Compound this with hurt feelings, pride, and the unwillingness to see the other’s perceptions, and this leads to difficult communication. Differences in culture, nationality, and upbringing add to an already challenging situation when clear communication is necessary to have mutual understanding and trust. It takes two to tango, so recognize that it takes equal amounts of effort on both sides to communicate each person’s true intent and feelings. Assumptions and expectations further tend to create skewed perceptions in what is said and what actually is real.

Communication can be tricky especially among friends, family, and loved ones when someone complains about certain issues. Have you found that when a friend or loved one repeats the same thing over and over again, that after a while, you find yourself glossing over, and not listening at all? Many times listening becomes a valued skill, because every person likes to be heard. The main reason many arguments and hurt feelings arise is due to either feeling unheard or unseen. We all want to be loved for who we are and to not have to be what someone wants us to be.

Communication is not only allocated to the spoken word, but the written word can have just as much of an impact, especially when one has an issue with expressing their feelings or perceptions vocally. A letter via snail mail from a beloved can quickly uplift one’s mood just as disappointing news can spiral one’s emotions downward. Words may carry a lot of weight, but action and body language will trump all forms of communication. One’s actions and body language communicates the majority of their true feelings. The importance of nonverbal communication has statistically been shown between 60-90%, while words account for only 7%.

A person with rounded hunched shoulders, chin down, and a slouched over posture creates what kind of sense? A person who is insecure or fearful perhaps? How about a person with head over shoulders, shoulders back at attention, and with fists on hips illicitly? Do you sense a person with confidence and strength? Take this moment to see how your posture is, and reflect on your mental and emotional state. By tuning in and sensing how your body feels in certain situations is essential in being able to communicate in a more open and less defensive position. Self-reflection and the willingness to see another’s point of view can lead to more constructive communication instead of a breakdown. Be cognizant of the old wise idiom, “action speaks louder than words,” and if you seek harmony and connection with another, make an effort to listen and hear instead of being judgmental and closed.