The way in which we communicate with others can either strengthen or deteriorate our relationships.
We should ideally choose to fully engage, giving the other person the opportunity to express how they are feeling. Their response will not be as we expect as they are not us and therefore do not process their thoughts and information in the same way.
We can easily fall into the trap of believing we know how someone feels or what they are thinking based on our own thought pattern. The number of times I have listened (at times half listened) to my husband express himself and I wrongly respond with my take on what I believe he actually thinks and feels. How can I possibly know when we have different thought patterns? I am learning to accept what my husband is relaying to me even when it does not line up with my own rational. This helps to keep our lines of communication open and for him to feel respected.
In my various places of employment, I recall reading an email and completely misinterpreted the content because I had made assumptions on the first few lines I had read. I also recall several times being asked to see the director and assuming I knew what they were going to speak to me about. Rather than wait until the meeting I would over analyse past projects I had completed and conversations I had had, in order to feel prepared. What a waste of my energy!
I have an over active mind and it means I often over think scenarios and situations, giving them far more meaning than I ought to.
When we improve our communication with others we are in a better position to understand how they think and why they think in this way. They will find it easier to relate to us meaning they can be who they truly are without the need to over explain or tell us what they believe we want to hear.
Communicating well with others is important in all of our relationships, from marriage to friendships to working relationships. When there is a breakdown in communication, it benefits us to identify why and how we can improve upon this. As painful as this may be (to our egos mostly), this will help to heal the rift. Of course if the person does not wish to meet you halfway, there is little you can do. You have done your part.