Communication is essential to achieve successful human relationships.
However, the type of communication we have highly determines the outcome of our relationships. It all simply boils down to “how” we are connecting with each other.
Jamyang Khyentse once said something intriguing about human communication: “We think that we have successful communication with others. In fact, we only have successful miscommunication without being aware of it.”
Applying mindful communication was almost non-existent for me in the past. Putting an end to “the successful miscommunications”—as Khyentse puts it—was (and still is, at times) arduous.
Truth be told, most of the discussions we have with others aren’t really mindful. Mindful discussion means shedding attention and awareness on our words—it’s rarely what we do, as our ego is consistently involved.
My relationships with others flourished when I taught myself the art of mindful communication.Throughout the years, I took note of what bothers me and others when communicating. I tried to investigate what engages us in conversations, versus what pulls us away.
Here’s how I learned to successfully communicate:
1. Listening. When I was a teenager, I had the habit of interrupting people as they spoke, so I could respond. As I grew up, I came to notice how much people pull away during conversations when we don’t properly listen to them.
Listening is the first step toward mindful communication. To mindfully listen means to wait patiently for the other person to finish beforewe speak. Also, it means keeping our mind focused on the speaker, instead of wandering away.