Monday, February 6, 2012

How We Talk

Since I posted the whining video on Saturday it made me think a lot about communication style. How do we sound when we are communicating with others?

Especially when it comes to family, it's easy to just "let it all hang out". Whatever we think or feel, we say, right? That can be a good thing, and a bad thing. It's good when members of a family feel it's safe to talk about
anything and air their feelings. However, it's bad if we're saying things that hurt or belittle others, or if we say things in a way that causes the other person to close down.

What I liked about the video is the calm & cool way Dr. G shows the child the proper way to ask. However, every busy mom knows it's so easy to loose your cool when you're under all kinds of pressure from 5 different directions and suddenly your child starts whining about something trivial. That's when you want to pull your hair out and scream! What can you do?

Be Prepared:

  • Know yourself - What is your communication style? What are your reaction triggers? How do others react to your communication style?
  • Prepare yourself - Learn how to separate the emotions you are feeling from the messages you want to express. It may not be easy and it may take some practice.

Why bother, you might ask? Because you'll get better results. Do you want good relationships, better behavior, more cooperation, more understanding, more happiness, do you want to make more money? Who doesn't? Think about it, everything begins and develops through communication in one way or another.

What's Your Communication Style?

Are you a sweetie pie, a volcano, a staff sergeant, a martyr, a drama queen, an eye roller, or a tiger? Believe it or not, there are good points and bad points about all these communication styles. The important thing is, when you understand why you communicate a certain way, how it affects others and how you can get better results, then you can more easily incorporate some style adaptations.

I'm an eye roller. I never knew I was but my teenage son pointed it out. Oops sorry, I can't see my eyes rolling, I guess I do it subconsciously. What's bad about it? He doesn't like it, it makes him feel like I'm not taking him seriously or I think he's stupid. Hmm... What's good about it?  Well, it helps me not take things too seriously. I don't think he's stupid, but sometimes we need to not take each other too seriously! However, knowing how he feels, I try not to roll my eyes so much by paying a little more attention to what he's saying and why he's saying it.

Do you want to know more? Tomorrow I'll write about the other communication styles, what's good and bad about them, and how we can incorporate various techniques to tame & train our communication style for better results. In the mean time, here's something to think about -

Is your communication style inherited by example, because of your personality, or both? Do you purposely try to communicate differently than your parents communicated with you?

Feel free to leave your comments and come back for tomorrow's post as well.


  1. So true, Cheryl, enlightening post!

    We can often focus on our communication outside of the home...but in it - that can get overlooked.

    I have a feeling I'm a tiger with shades of a staff sergeant. Been working on this and my oldest and I (where the flashpoint was) get on much better these days. We are very similar and if I'm not careful we're going head to head which doesn't help anybody and doesn't teach her anything.

    Great post! Thanks!

    1. Thanks for commenting, I think I can be a bit of a tiger too sometimes.


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