Say What You Mean
By: Javan
November 12, 2015

imageCommunication.  It sounds simple and easy enough. More often than not, we don’t say what we mean. And most of the time, we don’t express what we feel. If you feel you’re repeating yourself or not being heard, the issue could be that what you’re saying isn’t getting the job done. Saying the same thing over and over again is a sign of being misunderstood. If you find yourself in an argument or feel ignored, after communicating something that seemed reasonable, then chances are you’re not saying what you mean.


Communication issues come up all the time, because we tend to speak after an idea or thought has been completely processed internally. We leave out the intention, the motive, and the need assuming the other person we are speaking to has the same ideas. A good way to check is to see if you believe that what you’re saying is “normal” or “understood” by the other party.  Or if your communication includes such language, “Well, isn’t that normal!?” Two elements need to be in alignment to have understanding between you and the other person. The first one is the “why” that triggered your idea. The second is your need or expectation. You must communicate your true intention, not the desire to tell some what to do, how to be, or be demanding. This is about the core reason you were triggered that is driving the communication.

When the “why” and expectations are not included with the words that you are speaking, your communication will remain unclear or misunderstood. When we speak from a “isn’t this or that understood” type of angle, the frustration and intensity increases. Eventually both people begin to feel attacked or criticized. This leads to disappointing, negative interactions. Our inner thoughts and feelings are complex and numerous compared to what we express. How do you manage your “whys” and expectations when you begin speaking? Are your thoughts clear enough for you, the speaker, so that your partner can understand you?

Again, speaking the truth can seem simple, but I have found that couples tend to hide their inner truth or vulnerability from their partner. Being vulnerable is an emotional risk. It’s normal to feel uncomfortable with being so open and honest. Most people choose not to express such an experience and instead blame, criticize, or just repeat themselves thinking the other person will change. Communication is not effective if it isn’t honest and vulnerable.

Be mindful of your reaction to events in your life. What are you thinking and feeling? Pay attention to whether or not you feel comfortable revealing what you think and feel. Then notice what you say or choose to express.