Are you misunderstood? Would you like strategies to be heard?

communication stress

We’ve all likely found ourselves in a conversation that didn’t go how we thought it would. Was it about the words, or was it more about how we felt?

We all had that rough day,  and we’re not in the space to have a good conversation because we’re frazzled, or overwhelmed. But there is more that simmers below the surface.

Our history of suffering, trauma and all other life experiences are the lenses through which we view the world, and that applies to every conversation we have.  It becomes the filter or the lens through which we hear what that other person is saying

The receiver applies a lens to the conversation based on their life experience, perhaps from the same day, and it’s like an iceberg. Words can trigger people, especially when there are a lot of things below the surface. While our trauma may not be evident to people, trauma may influence communication.

box of photo memories

Our brain’s job is to keep us safe. The brain perceives what’s happening in the world and the energy of that communication and decides by comparing it to our previous experiences. The way the brain remembers a trauma could shape, or shade how you interpret a conversation. So, if there are memories that are very similar to a conversation, especially one that didn’t go well or has been traumatic, your brain will perceive that this is another episode of trauma.

Memories, smells, and familiar things will influence how we receive information. Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Bruce Perry’s book, “What Happened to You,”  talks about a boy who had a challenging relationship with his teacher because the latter was wearing an aftershave that reminded him of what his abusive father used to wear.

comfortable communication

The energy that we bring to the room has a significant impact on our communications. This is why it is essential to feel comfortable and grounded before we engage in any conversation. 

Often, tension is labelled as a drama that can come from either internal, or external sources:  how we react to something that someone else’s said, or how others respond to what has been said. We’ve had a conversation. Somebody might react to something we said, or maybe we respond to something someone else has said. If we can’t make peace with our internal emotions after every conversation, the internal drama becomes external and influences the other communications we have in a day. We will continue to talk about how misunderstood we were, or how awful that person we spoke with was. This is a hamster wheel around conversations which leaves us feeling depleted.


How do you resolve this, and who is responsible for this feedback loop?

Both communicators are responsible for conveying a clear message from a centred space. We can’t control how the other person receives a message. If we want to reduce stress, heal our relationships, and leave the world in a better place, we will need to be mindful of our message, tone, and emotions to have a healthy dialogue with each other.

Perhaps you’ve played “pass the message,” the telephone game where you go around the room, repeating a phrase to 15 people, and then that person that initially says the phrase will confirm whether, or not the last receiver accurately delivered the message the first person said.

This game proves that it’s easy to change a message with the inflection of our voice, our emotions, our body language, with so many things. So, even a simple positive word can be misinterpreted by someone who is in a negative mood.

So how could we be more accurate and kind with our words?

  • Reframing the words.
  • Stop depreciating ourselves.
  • Break the feedback loop of negativity bias.
  • Identify the words or conversation that drains your energy.
  • Collect your thoughts before delivering a message.
  • Pause and listen to what that person is saying, even when you disagree


Preparation is the key, so follow our Facebook Page and website for opportunities.

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