The Oxford Dictionary says communication is “the activity or process of expressing ideas and feelings or of giving people information.” Communication doesn’t have to be something you write down on paper or type on your computer. It doesn’t even have to be the spoken word. In fact, I’ve seen some pretty clear nonverbal communication!
Merriam Webster says it’s “the act or process of using words, sounds, signs, or behaviors to express or exchange information or to express your ideas, thoughts, feelings, etc., to someone else.”
Expressing ideas and thoughts can be more difficult and expressing feelings even harder.
“Exchanging information” might be one of the easiest things to communicate. That is, if the information is complete, simple and easy to understand. Expressing ideas and thoughts can be more difficult and expressing feelings even harder. Are you angry? Sad? Happy? These feelings can be easy nonverbal expressions but explaining them in words is sometimes an uncomfortable thing to do. When communicating feelings, I’ve found that it’s easiest if you remember these are your feelings. Someone else may feel totally different, and that’s ok. Own your feelings and express them using the first-person point of view.
Listening is an important part of communicating. After all, communication is a two-way street. You can’t have effective communication if you’re not listening to what the other person has to say. Especially when they’re expressing an emotion. Keep an open mind and remember, what they’re expressing may not be easy. Listening may be all you need to do.