by Jennifer Hoffman
Communication is how we share our thoughts, feeling and beliefs with others. Many years ago we were limited to two vehicles of communication, in person or in writing. Then it was expanded to include the telephone, email, Facebook and text. Today, every moment we are sharing our lives with others with whom we have a virtual connection, we are close friends although we may never meet them in person. Despite the advances in the way we communicate with others, the process of communication remains the same and each conversation, whether in person or virtual, has twelve different aspects that are all working together to create a flow of energy between us and the person we are connecting with.
The first three aspects of communication include our voices, which are our inner voice, which is what we say to ourselves, our outer voice, what we say to others, and our Higher Self, which is our communication with spirit. These three levels of communication are always active in each conversation and sometimes one voice.
The next three aspects of communication involve time, which is where we are communicating from. They are the past, what has already happened, the present, what is currently happening and the future, what we hope will happen. Each conversation has a time element, which may involve trying to resolve the past, set energy in the present or establish an outcome for the future.
The next three aspects of communication represent our feelings and include our expectations, what we expect from the person we are talking to, our doubts, how we believe they will or will not be able to give us what we want and our fears, the things we hope won’t happen or represent areas of danger to us. Every conversation has an expectation of how we want others to speak to or interact with us, the things we want them to say or hope they will share, how much we believe this will happen and our fears that our expectations won’t be met.
For example, a conversation with an employer about a raise we believe we deserve will include all of those aspects: our expectation of a favorable reply, our doubts about whether they will or will not agree with us and the fear of what will happen if they say no. And all of these elements are communicated, energetically and unconsciously, to our employer during our conversation.
The final three aspects of communication represent our wishes, these include what we want from the person we’re interacting with, our needs, how we want them to meet us in the areas we feel powerless or uncertain, and our desires, the highest and best outcome that we hope for.
For example, a conversation with someone who is not meeting our needs would include a desire for them to change their ways, what we want them to do to fulfill that (which we may or may not communicate to them) and how we want them to agree with us to be more considerate and thoughtful in ways that are meaningful to us.
We express our communication through three different venues. The first is speaking, which is how we express ourselves and this can be oral or written. When we speak we are sharing our beliefs, opinions, thoughts, feelings and desires. The second is hearing, which is how we take in the information that others share with us. Whether we are physically hearing someone speak or reading an email or text, we are absorbing the information they are sharing with us. Since we hear feedback from others as we speak, what we hear is impacting the rest of our communication with that person. The third is listening, which is how we interpret the messages that are shared with us.
Listening is the most complex venue because we listen through many filters which allow us to hear what we want, put our own spin on every message and create the final outcome that matches our beliefs. No matter what someone says to us, if we do not have a corresponding belief that makes it true, we cannot hear it in the way they said it. For example, if someone tells us we are beautiful and smart and we think we’re ugly and stupid, we will interpret their message in many different ways. We will feel uncomfortable, think they’re joking, wonder if they have an ulterior motive or just ignore them. In order to honestly listen to their communication we must have the beliefs that correspond to what they are saying.
With all of these different levels of communication, it’s no wonder that we have misunderstandings because we think that it’s a simple process and don’t regard each communication within the context of how we are sharing energy. To make things more complicated, we actually have three different conversations going on when we’re talking to someone:
Our inner voice is constantly commenting on what they are saying, what we should say in return and how the conversation is turning out and so is that of the person we are talking to;
Our outer voice is trying to keep up with the demands of our wants, needs, fears, expectations and desires, as well as express the messages of our inner voice;
And our higher self is communicating directly with us and that of the person we’re speaking with (speaking includes both oral and written conversation, this process happens whether we are talking to, emailing or texting someone).
Have you ever been talking to someone and you find that you have lost your train of thought or can’t remember what they just said? That’s because you have become involved in the other venues, especially that of the Higher Self and you are no longer grounded in the physical conversation. Or, your inner voice has been over-active and you are no longer connected to the person you’re talking to because you are talking to yourself. Or your filters are being challenged because what you hear has no context or matching beliefs and you can no longer process the information that is being shared with you.
Then we have the purpose of the conversation, which is what we want to receive from others. When we are communicating with someone we have expectations of, who we want to meet our needs or we want them to say something that will calm our fears and doubts, we tend to ask leading questions that are unconsciously manipulative. Even our most casual conversation has a purpose, whether it is to share our feelings or to gain insight into theirs. Being aware of our purpose allows us to control our inner voice, feelings and how we listen so we can understand what is being said to us in the context of what the other person is saying and not hear only those parts that correspond to our beliefs.
When we understand how communication works, the different voices, venues, times, feelings, emotions, beliefs and filters we are working with simultaneously, we can become more effective in how we communicate with others. Here are some questions you can work with to help your communication:
- What is my purpose with this communication, what do I want from it?
- Which voice am I speaking through, inner, outer or Higher Self?
- What time period am I working from, the past, present or future?
- Do I have any expectations, doubts or fears that are present in this communication?
- Do I want or need anything from this person and this communication and what is my desire or objective?
- What am I hearing and how am I listening to what they are sharing?
- Do I have any beliefs that I am trying to validate or is there something I can learn about my beliefs to help me with an aspect of my healing and soul growth?
Knowing ourselves as more than human, embracing our multi-dimensional, spiritual natures and incorporating them into our daily lives, especially in our communication, which is how we connect with others, will allow us to be more aware of the messages we are sending to others and what we are receiving.
Article Copyright © 2004-2011 by Jennifer Hoffman and Enlightening Life OmniMedia, Inc.. All rights reserved.