Often We Thought… We Assumed.

All along I know that communication plays vital part in life, regardless with family, at work or in relationships. But recently, I learn that consequences of good communication are indeed loud and impactful. Communication allows us to share feelings, connect and build trust, most importantly able to deliver messages we want to convey, not assumptions. Assumptions can be unfavorable at times as it is a willingness to accept something as true without question or proof. It can lead to unpleasant experience, with the thinking: “I thought…” “Maybe…” when another party have no intention on the messages he convey.

Hmm where do I start…

I was once very bad in communications. I assumed what another party is thinking and I don’t clarify, mainly I couldn’t take rejections. I will feel hurtful based on my assumptions. Eventually I became defensive. Also, I had poor listening skills, I tend to shut people off when I hear things I don’t want to hear. I never compromised, used to… Guess working in corporate world for plenty of years has really molded me to become a better person where I need to force myself to liaise with counterparties regardless making calls or blasting emails. There should be zero misunderstanding as it might affect relevant stakeholders especially working on projects. I am thankful for those opportunities given where I need to deal with management, external parties and fellow colleagues for the past few years.

Now I can better tweak my words though I might be quite assertive at times, but at least another party wouldn’t feel so pressurized. I will initiate talks so that both parties can speak up our minds to work for better outcome. I trust good process helps as much as best outcome matters. I believe in creating values, not only for clients, but also stakeholders. I am able to take rejections nowadays, and I wouldn’t take it personally like how I used to… I believe things happened for a reason and they will better improve me as a person in future. I am doing it for myself!

Recently, I learnt more about love language too. All along I know mine has been act of service and quality time. To me, for a person who works relentlessly with the bank (also due to my job scope), I value my time a lot, especially nowadays I end work late, I barely go out during weekdays. Occasionally, I would rather spend time at home than going out during weekends. Guess I just need some space to work on myself before another new week strikes again.

I was being asked if quality time means spending a lot of time together or going out a lot. To be honest, not really actually. I treasure meaningful meetings or intellectual conversation over high quantities of outings. A person who craves quality time actually has very little to do with the amount of time you are together. It’s also not based on activities. Quality time is about how you spend the time that you have together.

For people whose primary love language is quality time, we never lose sight of the fact that time is limited and tomorrow is not promised. Hence, we view time together as a priceless gift that we want to give and receive in relationships. To us, life is about being in the moment. When we are feeling insecure or going through a tough time, just show your care by simply being there and spending quality time together. Even though not all the discomfort will be taken away- nor should you be expected to- being able to demonstrate that you are present and available means a lot to us.

Guess communication would always be a lifelong learning lesson to us. Like my dad, he is a very reserved person, typical Asian dad I would say. He often makes decisions he thought would be beneficial to us (me and my bro), and he never shared reasons why. I mean as a parent, he doesn’t need to explain every single thing to us. Over the years, I learnt how to get him to talk more as we sometimes misunderstand his intentions, and he never bothered to explain.

I remember when Covid just started last year, I requested using public chopsticks when we were having dinner. He got so furious as if we are not close bonded, as if he will spread us the virus… Sooner, my mom got furious too, thinking he is being too sensitive. Knowing his concern, I spoke to him calmly: I work overseas where I travel a lot. To be honest, I would think I have more virus exposure than you spreading gems to me. I requested public chopsticks as I am concerned your wellbeing as much as myself. Hope you understand. Onwards, there will always be public chopsticks on dining table.

Even with family, a group of people living together for so many years, communication still plays important part.

Some tips for effective communications:

  1. Active listening- involves hearing and understanding what a person is saying to you.
  2. Be personable. Everyone is different, hence way of dealing might be different at times.
  3. Empathy- understand and share the feelings of another person.
  4. Always have an open mind. Don’t take things personally.
  5. Process your feelings. Avoid blurting hurtful words when you are angry.

Hope this helps as I find it very important! 🙂

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