Caregiving and Everyday Relationships Affected by Poor Communication
Caregiving relationships are stressful and overwhelming. Relationships and communication detour when we blur fact vs. fiction, truth vs. opinion and assumptions vs. reality. None of us have the power to control how other people will react to what we say or write once the communication is sent - this represents the danger in our own intentions and actions.
Words, verbal and written, can't be erased. In communication what's the intention -- supporting and building a relationship or injury, cruelty and destruction of a relationship?
Communication has the ability to foster positive feelings and goodwill or feelings of hurt and injury. When we communicate (expressions of word and tone) -- how our intention is perceived by the receiver affects their response and the quality of our back and forth communication. We must learn that we have to adjust the style of our communication to the various people with whom we communicate.
Again, what's the goal of our communication -- mutual respect, common purpose or love or to injure another person because of perceived or actual injury ( i.e. our response to their message). This type of relationship conflict is damaging to ourselves and others - conflict absorbs great mental and emotional energy. Communication or involvement from a person not directly involved is even more dangerous because it involves their perceptions, opinions and assumptions -- no facts -- and the result is rarely positive.
We can argue our intentions all day -- but if the result or outcome isn't positive, re-examining the message we sent is critical unless our goal is to destroy.
There is a middle ground where discussing negative or difficult information in a factual, truthful, non opinionated manner can be productive and positive. Arriving at this middle ground takes removing ego, the desire to be right and truly placing a bigger perspective of supporting a family, a team of caregivers and others involved above our own personal needs which can be very, very difficult.
In the bigger picture how do we want to be seen by others? If our story appeared on the front page of the newspaper, how would we feel? If the answer isn't proud or positive, we must give thought the quality of our internal thoughts and the results these thoughts produce in our words and deeds and in our actions that affect others.
There is wisdom in the old saying, "if you can't say something nice don't say anything at all". This can be translated to "if you can't think something positive, work to examine and to change the internal quality of your thoughts". In caregiving and in life it's our relationships that are important. Too many times we realize this too late. http://pameladwilson.comhttp://www.thecarenavigator.com