In reality, all of us are good communicators when we are young. This is because we speak our minds when we are kids, asking for food when we want them and pestering our parents for toys that we take a fancy to. In the process, there are few barriers to communication. However, as we grew up, complications develop in our communication process.
As mentioned in my previous blog, we began to have “filters” (self-imposed assumptions) because of our negative life experiences and cultural differences. We began to adopt our communication style to suit others (often losing our personality in the process). The latter is often prevalent in organisations where conformism is preferred over individualism. However, the most devastating factor is the fact that negative life experiences often leave indelible marks on our subsequent life experiences. When these marks are translated into our communication process, it will be a matter of time before our negative experiences start to define and at times constrain our responses to others. It’s a sad fact that most of us do not realise this.
I remember watching a Korean film “My Sassy Girl” whereby the female lead could not bring herself to accept a suitor because she couldn’t get over her deceased boyfriend. This longing for the past is embedded in the form of a metaphor (a necklace which her boyfriend has given her many years ago). The movie concluded with her throwing the necklace into a deep chasm, thereby discarding the past and embracing the future. This is in fact what most good communicators do. And they do it much effectively than this female lead. While the female lead took years to forget her past, good communicators “refresh” (yes, as in refreshing a web page) their experiences everyday. To good communicators, everyday is a new day. And a good day.
It’s good to remember that most of us have an aura around us that defines our receptivity to communication (although we should not forget to engage in personal grooming during social functions as well). This is why people often consider charismatic individuals as very receptive people when it comes to communication. By learning to forget about our past negative experiences and simply living in the moments, we are actually removing stains from our aura and polishing it till it shines.
Leave the past in the past where it should always be. Embrace the present and plan for the future. Live life with courage and push forth.