Do you remember the last time you were able to communicate effectively? It feels so good when your message goes across so smoothly right? To communicate in such a way where you feel this release because you feel validated.
But what about when they misconstrue your words? When they misinterpret your intentions or make you feel stupid after being so brave for opening up?
I know I have. And I bet my life, you have too.
If I had a nickel for every person I meet or reconnect with from the past who say the same thing, “Bianca, you’re actually not what I thought you were…You’re just really misunderstood.”
For you to understand where I am coming from, allow me to back track a bit. See, I used to be a very angry, emotionally destructive & defensive person. Having been bullied for many years as an adolescent, I grew up to be in what I refer to as, “defense mode” 24/7.
The damage it did to my psyche made survival instinct, my daily default disposition.
Rather than just standing at ease, imagine being in fighting stance, all day long — emotionally and psychologically. It was draining and brought out the worst in me. But of course, I didn’t know it back then.
Even if I was already grown up, the teenage girl inside of me always felt it had to put up a fight the moment anyone tries to or what I perceived as trying to take advantage of me.
So for many years even after I became a mom, I was this seemingly tough, loud, iron chick that didn’t realize, was sadly broken inside.
Pain can really damage a person’s spirit. I became a very closed-off person. It is safe to presume that life hardened me from an early age.
In retrospect, my (unconscious) way to come off as strong, instead became rubbing people the wrong way and coming on too strong. Bottomline, I wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea (and I’m sure that still applies).
As a result, this always made me feel misunderstood and it was so frustrating. The more I tried to express myself and communciate in my own way, the worse it got. It got awkward and made me lose confidence in myself even more.
All I knew in my heart, I meant well. So how come no one could see that?
Oftentimes we think the main goal of communication is to feel understood. When in fact the other goal, which I think is also of equal importance, is to understand.
It’s always about “what about me? Why can’t they listen to me? Understand me? Know my point of view?”
Put yourself in another’s shoes, they’re asking exactly the same things of you. Why can’t you understand them?
Communication is a two way street: to be heard is just as crucial as listening.
Time tested and made accountable for my past mistakes, I have dear friends AND enemies to thank. They made me blatantly or consequentially aware of my shortcomings.
Now I look back at my old self and I am like, what the fuck — CRINGE!!!
I wish I could say, oh god was that really me? But nope, it’s more like: hell ya, that was me. I was that person. WAS.
I don’t want to be her anymore. I don’t need to. As time continues to pass, I feel safer in my own skin and that little girl no longer exists. I became aware and empowered that my past cannot hurt me anymore.
Tell me. Can you relate? Do you look back at things you’ve said and done then think how different you are now?
In no way am I making excuses for my past behavior. If anything, I’m owning up to it.
Look, I don’t need to share what my mom refers to as, “dirty laundry.” I mean, I’ve managed to put the past behind with dignity, so why bring it up now?
Obviously back then, I wasn’t aware of my reactive type of behavior. It’s taken a long time to realize who I was then to who I am now.
I share this because I am hoping that even just one person wakes up from reading this. I pray that in some minuscule way, this post triggers something deep inside of you that needs to heal. A trauma, a hurt that’s been shelved in the back of your psyche that you may have forgotten about but it unknowingly reemerges through relationships you engage in.
Trust me when I say, they resurface most especially through communication – today’s topic.
“Pay close attention to whatever triggers a reaction from you. Your triggers reveal the spot where an ancient pain is still buried.” ~ Unknown
For as long as we are still alive, you and I are still works in process. What matters is you become aware of the person you were, who you’ve become and who you want to be. Have you improved? Have you grown and matured? Awareness is the key word here folks.
We all want to feel validated. It gives value to your existence: that you are something to someone, to anyone.
What do you think social media is? A big social experiment where every person communicates images and thoughts in the hopes of feeling understood in the form of “Likes.”
While this is not the healthiest nor recommended way to build genuine self-esteem, it is an unstoppable way because it is the easiest.
The existence and obsession with social media is proof that when people understand us, it makes us feel good about ourselves.
My personal story is something I’ve wanted to share with you because that last thing I want to imply is that my life is all about daisies and jet setting.
It’s been a very turbulent ride as you’ll learn little by little. Never one to share personal things about myself, I opened up on Instagram how I was deemed to never make anything of herself.
For starters, my very first motivational post, 10 Easy Ways to Build Confidence is from my own experiences of coming from nothing (emptiness and low self-esteem).
It’s one my personal favorites on the VLOG as they are very doable ways I’ve battle-tested. They’ve truly helped me become the person I am today but of course, the journey does not stop to being even better.
I hope I can impart something useful with these life-lessons with you.
In today’s episode, I share 5 factors that will help us communicate better.
If you think about it, this goes against what I previously said: that it isn’t just about you but the other person as well. Yes. But since we cannot control the reactions of others, the only thing we can control is ourselves.
We alone can choose what attitude to have going toward the goal of expressing ourselves effectively.
As with all things life, it is never a guarantee but it doesn’t hurt to have a strategy when communicating with others.
Not Always About You
Watch today’s episode and I explain each one with examples and how it can help you feel validated in various aspects of your life.
No I am not some annoying pretentious expert and I cannot guarantee fantastic results.
What I can guarantee though is that once you apply these disciplines slowly into your life, you will feel empowered, equipped and confident when faced with different types of people and situations.
In fact, there will be instances – many of them, where no matter how effective you think you are at communicating, there will be people who will never understand you for two reasons: either they don’t care to and will make sure you sense that to bring you down or they truly want to understand you but are limited to their own level of perception or maturity.
This is a great way to manage your expectations. That way, you’ll never be disappointed.
As always, what I share are things I’ve learned along the way from personal experiences, both the easy and the hard way.
Change is a process and an everyday discipline. Some days are on point and some days I just can’t be bothered.
Am I still an angry person? Am I still a bitch? That girl with issues? Fuck yes! No good can exist without the bad. You will always carry remnants of your past no matter how far you’ve come. They are not meant to drag you down but they are reminders of who you don’t want to be anymore. The choice is up to you: Keep growing or keep blaming.
We cannot learn lessons unless we first acknowledge there is a problem. So know that the point of today’s episode is that, your message does not need to change – it’s how you express it that will.
I’m rooting for you.
You are not alone.
I hear you because there must be a reason why you are giving this post a try and read all the way to the end. Hopefully in turn, you too will listen to my message of love and encouragement.
Ultimately, the one person you communicate with the most is yourself.
So ask yourself, do you communciate love and with love? Respect? Encouragement? Or do you tell yourself lies to escape responsibility, accountability and reality? Do you bombard yourself with self-doubt and negativity?
Communication begins and ends with you.
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For more motivational posts on various topics, you can see them here.
Love & light,