Finding The Right words
It is not easy to Find the right words
There are certain times and certain situations in life when you find it difficult to say the right thing that is needed for the occasion. I remember a time when one of my close friend lost her daughter in an accident and I simply didn't know what to say? What exactly do you say to a mother who has lost her child? Can one say don't cry , things will be alright or does one say what has happened has happened ....or simply say I am so sorry about what happened ? I just sat with her because anything I said seemed too little and too shallow compared to the magnitude of her tragedy and her desolate grief. I and other friends of her also felt that the only way we could help her was by supporting her household by doing little things at her home like looking after the day-to-day needs of others by supplying food, cleaning up the kitchen and keeping an eye on the maids etc...Later of course it was easier to communicate with her and help her come to terms with her grief !
Depending on the occasion
This makes me think – it is indeed difficult sometimes to find the right words ! However it is felt that shallow or not words do carry some weight during such occasions and they do help the person get over their grief however intense it may be, but what is important is finding the right words. When one is unable to convey the right words when there are others around , I feel that it is better to meet the person who has been bereaved face to face at a later date . Let the person tell you in her/his own words what he/she is feeling and then one can respond accordingly. Many people would like to have a sympathetic listener especially when the tragedy also brings in a flood of other related problems.
For example: - when a lady loses her husband, she may have financial problems and would like to share her own fears and insecurities with someone who is genuinely interested and is ready to offer some practical advice or help in whatever manner they could. Since the problem is practical the lady would be happy to get some practical help and advice. However we have to make sure that any advice or help we offer should be carried through and not remain mere words. We need to comfort the lady as best as we can by sounding optimistic about the future. Then if you are really definite about helping her, as soon as you go home write down some practical solutions such as employment agencies , also whether she could get employment at her husband’s place of work on sympathetic grounds etc..
Making another visit to her place armed with your list and discussing it with her would also help her get over her grief to a great extent. However, if you have no solution to offer, it is still a good idea to be there and be a sounding board for her so that she has someone who is willing to listen and be a part of her difficult times. At least your words and company would bring in some hope and a glimmer of sunshine into her gloomy days. Most relationships get strengthened when they undergo such testing times .
Have a clear idea
There are some people who are never lost for words and know exactly what they need to say at the right time for the right occasion. Whereas, some others may be struggling because they don’t have a clear idea of the point they are trying to make. Some have the problem of swallowing some of those words and sentences and starting half way through , thereby making little sense.This could be due to nervousness or not being prepared or because they have cultivated such a habit when they begin their sentences they begin with a brain lock ! Most of the good ideas happen in their heads and fail to reach others. Some people have real trouble getting words out, sometimes they know what they want to say but can't say it right, So it ends up not making sense.
Many analysts feel that when you are faced with this problem, you have to take some steps to overcome this, otherwise people around you would be constantly perplexed by your speech. According to the analysts one should write down all the thoughts that pass through one's mind and read it out as clearly as possible from start to finish. This should be done whenever you find time and once the practice gets established your speech pattern too becomes much more coherent. Playing word games has been recommended by some analysts to overcome such communication problems.
Thinking before you speak and speaking wisely, can be like lighting a candle in a dark world and words have the power to change your world. Some Words are so very powerful at the most unexpected times and have such an impact on your life that you never forget them.
Finding the right time
“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.” — Mark Twain
Those are wise words and there are times when it is better to keep your thoughts and ideas to yourself, rather than broadcasting them for the world to hear and probably make a fool of yourself. This is especially true of leaders and people who are in high positions. They need to choose their words carefully since it gets taken seriously by those around and below them.
There is a time and place for everything and when we speak out of turn we may end up damaging our reputation or losing all that we have built over a period of time. I know of a couple who shared a great rapport but one wrong sentence and a few words spoken by the lady was the cause of this relationship falling apart. That one sentence which in itself was nothing serious, led to something else and the outcome was a rift in their relationship.
Speech is silver
1. Keep it simple and straight forward. When you find yourself tongue tied but have to respond, try to choose simple words instead of rushing into a long speech
2. There are times when words may seem futile and instead of making a wasted effort , try to analyse the situation and do what seems t be the most practical way of dealing with it.
3. Develop a knack for listening when others speak. Many a times people don’t bother to listen to others and thereby end up giving incoherent responses. No doubt that a person who has the capability to speak their mind out is appealing, but a person who doesn't have such an ego and dedicates time to listening to others is better.
4. Sometimes no matter how carefully you choose your words , it may end up being misunderstood. At such times it is better to remain silent and not make matters worse by trying to defend oneself, because the true intentions and feelings are bound to show..
5. There is a wise quote which says be true to your work, your word, your friend and your family. When our intentions are right, there is little need to worry about the impact of your words.
6. Some people love to scream and rant when they are passionate about something which simply does not help. In fact it has the opposite effect on others . There is no need to scream or yell when speaking about anything since it tends to make people uncomfortable.
7. Remaining calm and in control is very essential when you have decided to speak your mind at the time something bothers you, rather than letting your feelings brew and intensify.
8. If and when you are not comfortable with your verbal skills say for example if you have the task of facing your child’s teacher and you feel that you may not be able to convey all that you feel, write a well thought out letter . The written word can be very powerful when it is composed with care.
9. Similarly when you want to say that you are annoyed and irritated by others the feelings of disapproval should be expressed in the right manner without using offensive words. But at the same time one must convey the feelings effectively.
10. One has to get prepared to face the consequences when there is need to speak openly. Speaking your mind is a skill that has to be used in many areas of life and there will always be people who do not agree with you or even go as far as arguing and debating.
One should remember that there is no hard and fast rule about what is right and what is wrong in communication. However, what is important is to sail smoothly through different situations in life without feeling stressed or constantly worrying whether what we said was right or wrong. Remember you are the best judge!
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