Speaking of efficiency… it’s getting late so I’m giving myself a time deadline to finish writing this post…
The most efficient and effective way to communicate is really simple actually, but somehow it’s so hard for perhaps most people in the world. It certainly was an ongoing challenge for me for most of my life, but after some experiences I’ve learned a very important lesson about communication, aka how we talk to and express our thoughts and feelings to others.
Important lesson learned: Just say exactly what you want. Forget about being a people pleaser, because there will always be some people who aren’t happy with what you say or do, and I’ve realized that that is A-OKAY!
I am by nature the biggest people pleaser ever, at the cost of my own happiness and enjoyment of life. I always thought that that was a good quality to have, but over time I began to notice how much people pleasing was taking a toll on my entire well being.
I’ve had to learn that IT’S OKAY to disappoint people. What’s more important is that I am first taken care of myself. Life is short and time is money and we can never ever get time back.. but right now I’m not talking about time or time management.. that will probably be in another post.
In hindsight I’ve realized that my mental health was very much affected (negatively) by my desire to please others, usually because I hated any kind of conflict and wanted to keep the peace at all times.
But it just doesn’t work that way.
Probably the most common and perhaps annoying example of unclear communication is when friends are trying to decide on where to go for lunch or dinner, and I know from personal experience that women have more of a tendency to say something like, “I’m okay with anything” or “it doesn’t matter,” but then after the final decision is made, there is at least one person who is kind of disappointed, WHICH MEANS she DID have a preference and she DID care!
Your time is so precious, so why would you want to spend it on things that you don’t actually enjoy, especially if you actually have control over your own situation. It’s just not worth it to not take care of yourself.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t care about other people, but what I am saying is that we should not give up our own happiness and health (mental, physical) in attempt to make everyone else happy. It’s so not worth it. Just think about it.
To illustrate, I’ve personally been very straightforward with others when I did not want to talk about certain things, or even talk about anything at all. So I’ve sent out texts before saying “sorry I don’t feel like talking about this right now” or “sorry I’m really tired, don’t want to talk right now.”
I’ve also distanced myself from ones who do not add any value to my life or bring any positive energy with them when they’re with me or talking to me. For example, a couple years ago I was SO done with a girl who kept randomly sending me rude text messages, just to stir up some kind of debate or philisophical-ish argument and I honestly could care less about what she was saying. But the texts kept coming. It was as if she was testing to see what my boundaries/limits were.
Then one day I texted her something like, “..If you’re only going to send rude texts to me, please send them to other people instead.” Basically something along the lines of, please don’t text me if all you want to do is push my buttons.. all the wrong buttons. Because I will not allow my time to be squandered by being consumed with stressful and unnecessary conversations. Oh, and she never texted me again.
So my point is, what matters most is that you’ve clearly and effectively got your message across, and how others respond is up to them. Either way, they know and understand what you’re saying to them.
So if you want to spend time by yourself at home or at a cafe, it is one hundred percent fine to say “No” to any other invitations that come your way.
I recently heard either on a podcast or online course that if you want to be a productive person, you have to be comfortable with disappointing people all the time. Maybe that means you don’t respond to an email or text right away, or.. I don’t know, but you get the idea.
Oh, and I cannot stress enough how CRUCIAL this matter is in relationships (romantic ones). If one person expects the other to do something without explicitly saying how he/she feels or what he/she wants, or if something bothers one of them but he/she does not let the other know about it, then one day, perhaps months later, it ALL comes out and that person loses it or blows up, and it’s like WHOAAA where did THAT come from??? because it completely catches the other person off guard.
No need to surprise people with sudden bursts of anger and such things. The sooner you communicate something with absolutely NO ambiguity, the better off you will be in the long run.
So in the future, if you want to go to a specific place, then just SAY it. Don’t hint at it, and don’t make someone else’s life more confusing. If you prefer Restaurant A over Restaurant B, then just say that you prefer to go to Restaurant A. I mean, how much simpler can you get? It’s really not that hard.
But of course, take everything I say with a little grain of salt, if you feel more comfortable that way. 🙂 And no I’m not saying this just to people please. I’m saying this because I know not every single person in the whole world may agree with what I said.
So the next time you’re communicating anything to someone, give this clear and effective AND efficient communication thing a try and see how it goes.