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Do you sometimes feel that whatever you say you never get it right?

When we communicate with others, it helps to keep in mind not only what you are thinking and feeling but also what they might be thinking and feeling. Their experience may be similar, different or completely opposite to your experience. Just because you are thinking something to be true, doesn’t necessarily make it true.

In NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) there is a saying that ‘The map is not the territory’. People respond to their ‘map’ of reality, not to reality itself. How people make sense of the world around them is through their senses and from their own personal experience; this means that each individual's perception of an event is different.

Our thoughts and emotions can get in the way of effective communication, and we can end up making things worse and messing things up. This awareness of our own reactions, together with an understanding and awareness of how the other person might be reacting (their thoughts, feelings and responses) will give us important knowledge and help us to respond in a more helpful and effective way.

It is so easy to get things wrong, misunderstand what the other person is saying, we react to what we think they mean, and they react to what they think we mean.... and so it goes on.

We can learn to be more assertive and effective in communicating what we really want to say, without upsetting the other person, and reduce misunderstandings on both sides.

Why not try and practice behaving and communicating more assertively? This will help you to stop acting and communicating in passive and aggressive ways, which usually result in distress.

It can help to think about a person who you respect and who you believe acts and communicates effectively and assertively, respecting others and themselves, who is warm and friendly. This can be a person who is known personally to you, or a famous person, or perhaps a fictional character.

Initially, it doesn’t matter if you don’t feel like being assertive, just practice it anyway. When you notice yourself acting aggressively or passively, just notice, then change your posture, expression and behaviour to as though you were being assertive. It works!

Here’s a list of communication styles:

Hope you found the blog helpful. Remember, practice makes perfect.

Much Love Jo xxxx

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