From a recent Facebook post:
If you’re too busy, say it
If you’re upset, express it
If you’re running late, let people know
If you don’t want to do something, be straight forward
If you’re unsure, ask
This does seem obvious, but it’s really difficult.
It applies to work situations as well as our relationships with partners and friends.
If you’re thinking about it in relation to a new friend, partner or job, then it could be a bit easier to “start as you mean to go on”. However, if you’ve personally never said how you feel before, it’s difficult. If you‘ve always tried to be what your existing friends, colleagues, partners seems to want, it can feel alien to start speaking out. It can feel “pushing back”. If you'd think"I'm maxed out and far too busy" and instead say "I'll fit it in", it's scary to even think of saying the first one
And even if we do start sharing more about how we really feel , then old patterns, habits and ways of being can come back before we notice they have.
If you’re in a more established job or relationship with friend or partner, then this is very very difficult. It can be about “renegotiating your relationship”.
Which is an easy phrase to write or say, and feels almost impossible to do. A good start could be to say (yes, say, to the person you are thinking of) that you’re going to try to be clearer about how you’re feeling and what you mean This takes responsibility rather than handing out blame.
A question to think about perhaps, is why are you are feeling you need to change your way of communicating.
If one person in a relationship, at work with colleagues, at home, a friend, thinks there needs to be a change and the other doesn’t think so, maybe it’s time to think objectively about the quality of the relationship or job
It will be uncomfortable, but change can’t happen unless everyone involved knows it needs to happen. That goes for work, friendships and partners too.