Human beings say and do things that mean something entirely different than what is intended. In a moment of anxiety, anger or even a rush to judgment, words or gestures are dispensed that are perceived to be hostile, disrespectful or just plain rude. Conveyance and perception are not just about what is being said or done, but it is also how it is being said (or done). There is an element of emotional intelligence (or rather lack thereof) that figures into the equation of how human interactions succeed or fail miserably. Simply put, the cavemen of yesterday would not have evolved into modern-day Homo Sapiens had it not been, in part, due to the progression of mental awareness, improved thought processes, critical thinking and more importantly, a culmination of these coupled with emotional intelligence.
Below are four human communication killers that can and will destroy relationships over time:
1. Paranoia. Afraid someone is going to “steal” your idea or process?Paranoia in this day and age is a real hazard to relationships – both personally and professionally. How one perceives actions and words can and will negatively impact work and dealings with others. Understandably, individuals need to protect intellectual rights, patents, trademarks, etc.; but how far is too far? Are you the individual who puts passwords on all your Microsoft Excel data? Do you fear someone might receive something better than you? Do you feel others might want to take your job or your significant other (away from you)? Think about how your feelings may be affecting your personality and those around you. Fear is a real danger to your health and wellbeing. In a society that is very economically challenged, it is reasonable that worry is prevalent about joblessness or homelessness. But if you spend all your time worrying about what could happen, you are not spending adequate time on the positives in your life that you currently do possess.
2. Petulance. Both at home or in the workplace, petulance – or toxic behavior is harmful to the overall success in relationships. Openly disparaging others can and will lead to anxiety, jealousy, anger, vengefulness and deceit. If you disagree with an idea or with someone in particular, it is more productive to clear the air directly with that individual as opposed to creating an environment of concealment by gossiping among others. Upstaging others by acting as a “know-it-all” or pretending to be higher-up in the proverbial food chain, are other forms of petulance. While it may make you feel empowered for the moment, in due course you will be perceived as egregious and untrustworthy. How do you handle a coworker, spouse, friend or family member who disagrees with you? Eliminate counter-productive “sidebar” dialog that ultimately leads to negative repercussions.
3. Assumption. I like to remind others of a question once asked of me, “what are the first three letters in the word, assumption?” Assuming things is one of the best ways to get caught up in a dire knee-jerk reaction. If you automatically “react” without gathering and understanding all of the facts surrounding a specific event or situation, then you are doing a disservice to both yourself and the persons involved. Always be sure to take a few moments to fully comprehend the circumstances at hand. Carelessly tossing accusations, only later discovering that you were incorrect in your assumption, will not just make you appear aggressive and disrespectful, but will also devalue your importance as an individual, a friend or a team player.
4. Regression. For the most part, human beings like their own comfort zones. They quickly become complacent in a certain environment or process. While some adapt quickly to “change”, others rebel against it at all cost. Technically, regression and petulance go hand in hand. It is imperative to remain open to new ideas and thoughts. Changing gears is the best way to move forward in any situation or to reach a common goal. If you are stuck in reverse, you become the cause behind stopping progress.
The essential element in all of these personality behaviors is learning how to effectively balance emotions. If you are guilty of any of the above behaviors, you may need to reevaluate yourself more deeply. Having a healthy dose of emotional intelligence or learning how to increase your mental awareness about people, events or situations before firing off a succession of self-destructive kneejerk reactions can improve your overall odds at success in life. Subsequently, employing emotional intelligence in all communications — in person, over the phone, online or otherwise is key to both personal and professional harmony.
Relationships: 4 Communication Killers
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Disclaimer: CarolAnn Bailey-Lloyd is not a medical doctor, has no formal medical training, and holds no license or degrees in psychological or psychiatric medicine.
The information presented on this site is not intended to create, and does not constitute any professional relationship between the blog writer and the reader and should not be construed as medical or psychological therapy or advice of any kind whatsoever. Any information presented on this site is intended to educate and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical or psychological treatment or advice from a licensed professional health care provider. If you are experiencing psychological problems, please seek a licensed health care provider. Your decisions and actions about your mental health are your complete and whole responsibility.