Saturday, August 28, 2010

Respectful communication

On the first day of my new job, I met a woman, who after pointing out the numerous similarities between us, not only stated that I was the female version of herself, but that I was now officially her new best friend. She is very, very funny and I can see the similarities between in us. She says what is on her mind, and not only is funny (as already mentioned ), but is also very intelligent. I did notice something else that was very interesting. When I am around her, I am both a little excited and anxious, because I have no idea what she will say next - will it be something funny, something confronting, both? or something utterly ‘normal’.

I suddenly had a realization- this is what it is like for people to be around me! The excitement part is great!!! but not the anxious bit… It made me start to think about how I often say what I am thinking without censoring it and how that might affect my friends. I guess I have used the disclaimer.. ‘I am being honest’, but am I being honest, or being uncaring and unthoughtful when I spurt things out? By pushing my own agenda (saying what I want to, rather than being mindful of how that might feel for the other person) I am making the communication about myself, and not about ‘us’. In essence I am being selfish by meeting my needs and ignoring the other persons needs to be dealt with in a dignified and respectful manner. 

I don’t know where I have gone wrong… I was always a challenging person to be around and had thought that I had improved so much. At work I do this well- I deal with people in a respectful manner, but in private- with my friends, that’s where I fall down. Honesty needs to take place in a way which respects us both. Hopefully this realisation will see me making some changes with the way I talk to those I value. If not, I hope my friends read this and feel comfortable to point out when I am not being as respectful as I could be.   


  1. I thought I do it very well Matthew - I just tell you to shut up and give your brain a chance! LOL

  2. as you are listed as 'anonymous'.. this could be any number of my friends ;-)