I spend the better part of most of my time communicating with people. Its my job. Its what I do. I listen, talk, read, and write with people most of the day. What I also do, is notice people communicating. I'm a people watcher. You can learn alot about them, and yourself, by watching how they communicate.
In my view, most of people's relationship problems are centered around their lack of communication, or poor communication. Either people don't have the right tools, or they don't use the tools they have correctly.
Which brings me to a very small soap box on which I will stand today to talk about a miscommunication style that is both frustrating and unhelpful.
It's called- the "sigh".
People do it all the time. They are frustrated,upset, or angry, and instead of articulating that emotion to the person they are in relationship, they sigh. They let out a big breath of air in a way that is loud and attempts to convey some sort of emotion that they can't or wont articulate verbally.
Here's what happens- someone is upset with another person, and instead of saying, "Friend, I'd like to share with you my current frustration" they let out air like a tire going flat. This is poor communication. Good communication is sharing with someone what you are feeling in a way that is clear, not in a way that is shrouded in negative emotion.
Sighing leaves interpretation of emotion up to the person who is receiving it. It usually ends up in the person who is at the receiving end of the sigh misunderstanding the sigh, and continuing the cycle of miscommunication.
Here's the deal- if you sigh, no one knows what you are really feeling, so they can't respond to you correctly. If you're feeling an emotion- share it verbally in a constructive way, don't sigh and assume that people will know what you're feeling. If want people to identify with what you are feeling- tell them what you are feeling.
There. I said it. Lets try to sigh less and talk more. Be clearer in what we're feeling. When we do that, we will help our relationships, not harm them.