What I’m really trying to say is..

It’s interesting how one’s mind works. Often I think I’m being completely transparent and everyone should understand what I’m saying…what I’m really trying to say is that I often forget something rather important: very few (if any) people are actually psychic. Also, the perception that others have of what you are saying is colored by many things: their own preconceived notions, their life experiences, political orientation, and blahblahblahblahblah.  What I’m really trying to say is that you shouldn’t be surprised if others fail to understand you, or if they completely misinterpret what you’re saying.

What can you do about this? Good question. Glad you asked. First of all, what I’m really trying to say is that you should probably ask if the person to whom you’re talking actually does understand what you’re saying. If you have to, go back to the beginning of your discussion. Reinforce what you’re saying. Determine whether you are actually understood. Don’t start in the middle of a thought when you’re trying to communicate – begin at the beginning. I know that this might seem blindingly obvious, but most misunderstanding begins when you think you’re being clear…but you’ve started in the middle of a thought and the other person is going..HUH? What in the world are you talking about?!? 

What I’m really trying to say is…communication really is a two-way street..and it takes work. Lots of work. Lotsandlotsandlots of work. The payoff is that when you actually do work at communication, people know where you stand, and they usually understand what you’re saying.

You might, for example, be asking why on earth I keep repeating the phrase what I’m really trying to say is. It’s the prompt for Finish the Sentence Fridays, a writer’s blog in which I participate. This was a tricky prompt for me. I had to really chew on the prompt for awhile before I came up with this rather short post. One of the things that I’m working on with my therapist is actually communication, and how we often say one thing, but mean something completely different from the thing we end up saying. So I’m really trying hard to work on that in my own life. What I’m really trying to say is…we could all do a better job of communicating. 

3 thoughts on “What I’m really trying to say is..

  1. I could do a better job of communicating. We all could. I say what I say and then I look back on it and think “WOW, so-and-so didn't get what I meant AT ALL.” So I totally get what you mean when you ask “Do you know what I'm saying???” So there. And thank you.


  2. It's been something that keeps cropping up again and again…when that happens, I know that God is trying to get my attention…and I need to deal with it. One of the things I've learned to do as a writing tutor is to seek clarification. Sometimes students hear one thing when I'm really saying something completely different…


  3. This is a big issue for me to continue working on, too. I am fascinated by communication, its nuances and how to make it work. Yet, I so often get blindsided by what someone heard me say as opposed to what I think I said.
    Go back to the beginning, or rather, start at the beginning. Good advice. Thanks for sharing this today.


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