What Stands in the Way of Clear Communication

Shutting down listening mode in the middle of someone talking to you, happens. Whether we are busy multitasking, or perhaps we’ve ‘heard it all before’, I’d be willing to guess that all of us have been guilty of this. My way is better, don’t ya know? 


For your loved ones, fear and confusion may play into whether they are listening. Perhaps their memory isn’t what it used to be, or they don’t want to hear you ‘telling’ them what to do, again. Our egos get a bit shaken when we can’t remember things we need to do, so be mindful of how you phrase things. 

We stop listening to our inner voice, too. Your instincts, that little voice you hear, are there for a reason. Have you ever walked out the door and thought, “I turned off the coffee pot, right?” To return to see indeed, you did not. Or perhaps you’ve got the inclination that you needed to call a friend, and when you spoke, they broke down sobbing over something that had happened. You were there just when they needed it. 

It’s easy for some to assume what the other person is going to say based on patterns. Sometimes, very true. But others, not at all. Giving someone the space to be able to talk is essential. It may sound like a repeat pattern, but perhaps something is underlying there that you need to hear. Take a breath, step back, and listen.

A few things to consider:

  • Don’t assume you know what someone else is going to say, even if it appears you’ve heard it before. There may be an underlying point you need to understand

  • Have an open mind, take a deep breath if you need to, and listen

  • Be aware of other people’s pain points and why they might be repeating themselves. Perhaps they’re hiding a medical issue they don’t want you to know about, or a past hurt that they keep piling camouflage over 

Also important is the way that you speak to someone else. “Now, you need to listen to me!” Guess what? I just tuned out. Tone and presentation go a long way. 

  • Pick the right time to have a discussion ( i.e., don’t try and talking to your husband when he’s weed-whacking about how difficult it’s been to have your Mom take her medicine….)

  • Don’t attack as you speak (You need to listen to me! Immediate shut down)

  • Talk about how you are feeling or an idea you have, but be willing to listen to the response

Communication is like baking. You’ve got to add a little at times and be patient, always.



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