I’m a big believer in clear and precise communication. Unfortunately, too many times communication with a talk partner is about as clear as mud. “I can’t believe a word that comes out of his or her mouth!” is a huge red flag that honest and open talking is dead. This difficulty in finding out what’s true and what’s not will make you feel emotionally hooked and wrapped around the axle of a poor driver on the two-way communication highway.
IT’S TOO LATE TO SAY YOU’RE SORRY
Carole King had a hit song called “It’s too late to say you’re sorry”…a song about how love dies when doused with the kerosene of lies, distortions, and confusions. How to know if a talk partner is using interpersonal lies to drive you insane and steal your peace of mind:
1. ARE YOU MAD AT ME? Implies that you are over-reacting and don’t have your facts straight.
2. DON’T YOU REMEMBER MY TELLING YOU THAT? Implies that a speaker innocently forgot to mention a key fact.
3. I’VE HAD A LOT ON MY MIND LATELY. Implies that you don’t rate as very important in the scheme of things.
4. BUT I SAID I WAS SORRY. Implies that a simple apology fixes anything that’s been broken.
5. I DIDN’T INTEND TO DO IT. Implies that negative actions or words spoken without awareness don’t count.
6. IT WASN’T MY FAULT…THERE WAS NOTHING I COULD DO ABOUT IT. Implies the person is being controlled by outside forces beyond his or her control.
7. WHY ARE YOU ALWAYS GIVING ME SUCH A HARD TIME? Implies that you shouldn’t have a problem with repeatedly being discounted.
IT’S NOT MY FAULT
“Why are you always picking on me!” Charlie Brown rhetoric, will be impossible to correct. “It’s not my fault!” or “That’s not what I meant!” and “I didn’t do anything wrong because I was just trying to do the right thing!” are psychoexcuses that will execute a good relationship by pushing a partner into a corner and then opening fire. And that is your fault.
ABOUT COMMUNICATIONS CONSULTANT DENNIS E. O’GRADY, PSY.D.
Dennis O’Grady wears two hats of corporate communication expert and relationship communication psychologist. Dennis has 30+ years of experience helping talk partners of differing levels and backgrounds hear the intended message their talk partners were trying to get across. He is the author of three books, a professional keynote speaker, and organizational consultant who uses the “Talk to Me” leadership communication system in companies, resulting in, “Now my manager is a better communicator.”