Killers of communication are like termites that ruin communication most times before it even starts. We are in the last days of the month and truthfully, a lot of things went down for me personally in this month and lately I’ve been thinking of bringing up the conversation with my folks and that was when I remembered this story I’m about to tell you now. laughs Don’t worry its nothing dark & daunting.
When I was in my teens; I think between seventeen and nineteen, I wanted to go visit my friends. I missed my secondary (high) school friends and I hadn’t seen the few that lived in Portharcourt then since we all graduated so I made it my mission to reunite with them. I dressed up looking all beautiful & sweet and the next thing was to tell my mom. How would I tell her? Was the next question that popped into my brain. You may say “just tell her na.” Well, you know it doesn’t work that way in an African Nigerian home where staying inside the house is the norm.
I was scared of her rejection but finally mustered the courage to go to her.
“Mummy I’m going to my friends place at….”, don’t worry I’ll come back on time.”
Before she could rain down her investigative questions and silly reasons why I shouldn’t go I went harder, “See mummy I’m already late. We need to meet and share admission details, don’t worry I’ll be back soon.” I smiled and ran off immediately without waiting for all the lectures that would accompany her approval. Hahaha
After the assurance that I’d come back very early, traffic had other plans for me. I got home by 7pm (not too bad) and I didn’t know how to face my mum. It was a chilly evening but I was sweating like someone that chased a rat to kill. I finally opened the door after what felt like hours and was faced with my parents in the living room.
“Mummy good evening. Daddy good evening.” I smiled to lighten the mood, “Kai! Mummy the traffic eh. Thank God I’m back oh.” They still did not say anything. I had to find a way to slip into my room. “Let me go and wash the plates.” I said finally and slowly walked into my room. I gave a sigh of relief. ‘Thank God its over.’ I muttered to myself and began undressing when I heard an earth shaking voice that told me it wasn’t over.
“Chika! Chika! Chika! How many times did I call you? So its Rumuokoro you went to that made you come back by this time? Eh this girl.” I stopped undressing and stood in shock. Too afraid to reply her or come out of my room. That door felt like the only thing protecting me.
“You better be careful. That boy that you are going to see will be the end of you.” At this point I burst out laughing with my hand covering my mouth.
“If you like get pregnant. But know that my God knows that I have done my own…” She kept on talking and talking. I got angry. Why would she say i went to see some boy? Or Why would she say all that and think in that manner? Maybe its a mothers tongue. A general thing with mothers but I didn’t think there was any reason for her to react in that way. I told her who I was going to see and even told her the place. I communicated with her properly. Or so I thought. What had gone wrong in our communication? I asked.
As a young woman, almost ten years later and I can see what went wrong with our communication and those things are the killers of communication. Having an effective communication is not just speaking out your thoughts & opinions. It is more about making sure that your words are clear & is properly understood by the other person. A clear and consise communication is the goal but with killers of communication present, it proves difficult to achieve effective communication.
Which is why I’m going to be sharing with you these killers of communication with the hopes that it helps you make a difference from today.
4 Killers Of Communication
Killers of communication like fear is what destroys effective communication from the mind, even before the conversation begins. The fear of how the other person would react to what you say, or how they would perceive things has stopped you from communicating properly. This fear can make you say something serious lightly, it can make you blabber thereby causing mockery & disregard.
This fear can dampen your confidence. It can make you procrastinate; A conversation you were supposed to have with your boss concerning an urgent matter would be pushed till tomorrow because you’re scared that he/she would not see things from your point of view.
- Lack of details & specifics
If I had told my mum that I was going to see a female friend and maybe even told her she was my classmate & that we went to the same school, then things would have ended differently. I hid a lot of basic details that would have made it more accepting and more understandable for her.
Lack of details and specifics are killers of communication that determine the outcome of any conversation you engage in. When communicating with someone, its important you be as open as possible because one missing detail that should foster that communication can dampen it negatively, even destroy your relationship with that person.
When Henry Winkler one of my best actors said; Assumptions are the termites of relationships. He wasn’t wrong.
I hate this one oh. Human beings can assume. Ah! Some people can assume for Africa. Just wear something that shows your curves and endowments as a woman and the entire neighborhood would conclude you’re a runs girl. Sometimes I wonder if they enjoy it. In my scenario, my mum just assumed in her head that it was a man I was going to see and that created a picture that she stuck with.
The bad thing about assumption is that; it is contrary to the truth, its not a fact and neither is it reality. Looks can be decieving. Don’t assume something that isn’t there. Listen to the other person’s story, the choice to believe it or not solely depends on you. Instead of assuming that they are lying, prove your theory with an evidence or else you’d end up ruining a persons self respect & integrity.
- Tone & Translations.
Wrong usage of tone and words are killers of communication. How you may ask? I’ll indulge you.
Apologizing to someone you hurt without any sign of remorse is an example of wrong translation. You may have said the right word “I’m sorry.” But how would the person forgive you if you don’t even feel any atom of regret for your actions. Sometimes its not what you say that is wrong but how you say it.
Yet other times, you use the wrong languages; “Please get that for me bitch.” What nonsense? You are begging someone to get something for you and you’re calling the person bitch. Why don’t you get it yourself. For clear and effective communication, the right tone and words are super important.
We are at a time where distance is a problem for families and couples to communicate, so communications are mostly done through mobile devices and social media platforms. Where your face can’t be seen, your choice of tone would go a long way. Use the right tone. Be warm, respectful and sure.
Other killers of communication include jumping to conclusion which is similar to assumptions, beliefs, timing, anger etc.
Henceforth, I hope these points would makes you make a difference in communicating.
Did you learn anything? Or you’ve got more pints to share? Or a different experience that killed your communication with a friend or family? Please share in the comment.
3 women’s story of pain, loss & friendship; read here