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Learning to be better, working on myself


burnoutcure
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Because of some recent events in my life I have begun to realize that I may not be the best communicator and/or listener. Recently, I think my boyfriend was the first to bring this up to me. At the time, I failed to realize the damaging effects it had on those around me. I also questioned whether or not it was something specific to that relationship or something larger in me. This week I made a point to be more aware of the conversations I was having with people, and found that this behavior is not isolated to one relationship.

 

I have recently found myself in tense spot with my boyfriend and the issue of communication has been brought up. The other night he told me all of the ways I make him unhappy, and they all seemed to boil down to how I speak to him. I really started to reflect on the things he was saying and realized that in many ways he was right. I seem to have a tendency to cut people off while they are talking. It is never my intention to be rude but I now see how it looks from the outside. I must appear to be selfish and someone who does not listen. I dont know, when someone is talking to me, my thoughts just start coming and instead of being patient, I interrupt.

 

I also am finding that despite the fact that I feel very favorably and trust the people in my life I often find myself being critical of them. As a result, I have made people I care about feel like I am unhappy with them. At this time I am still trying to figure out why I do this. I don't know if it is because I am so afraid of losing relationships that I try to hard to make them perfect by over analyzing them.

 

In the end though, all I have managed to do is isolate the people around me. I don't think I am horrible by any means but this is something I need to change and want to. Basically, I cannot find any benefits in acting this way. And if someone spoke to me that way, I wouldnt want them in my life either. Knowing this, it is easy to see why during difficult times those in my life want little to do with me. It is hard to see this and realize my part in this but I am thankful that I have the power to change.

 

So here I am now, and I want to be better and work on these things. I think just the fact that I can see this behavior as an ongoing pattern with me is huge, and it is no longer acceptable to me. I know it seems silly but I have bought a book on communication and a lot of what it says makes a great deal of sense. It's interesting how big a change can be made with only a little tuning.

 

Have any of you had these sort of problems? I just want to learn to be better and more aware of how I talk to the people in my life. I hate that it took me hurting someone I care about so much to see that this is a problem but I want to turn this into a positive experience for myself. I just want to be a better listener and less critical. In many ways I see patience as being a key part of this (I also get into moments where I question things too much so if I relaxed more, I think this could help) More importantly, instead of being critical I want to remember to remind those in my life how much they matter to me.

 

As I mentioned, two days with this book is already a great starting point but any real life advice would be appreciated. I don't want to send all my friends running for the hills...

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You are not a horrible person, you have a negative communication skill and you just need to work on it. The book idea is not silly, in fact, it's excellent and it can help you more than any person can. It's really good that you're boyfriend has pointed it out for you, now you know what to do. Forget about the past and stay focused on changing; you can do it. And you've said it yourself, it just needs a little tuning. One of my friends constantly inturrupted me and others. Now I know that it is unintentional; but this makes her appear as a) disrespectful b) selfish. As a result, I always feel uncomfortable speaking around her. I used to tell her but she never really understood the significance of the problem. I think it has to do with her impulsivity. That is, she has something, she'll say it. Sometimes it has to do with how the person was brought up. I remember one of my friends in highschool used to inturrupt people and when she gets the chance to speak, she never stops. I later found out that she was the only child in her family, so maybe she is used to all the attention. About being critical, to tell you the truth, it's even worse. I believe that being too critical of someone you love, is an unloving act. And for me I can sometimes tolerate disrespect, but I can never tolerate being overtly criticized. You sound like a nice and considerate person and there is nothing horrible about your character. You know what's wrong, you know the way, so good luck on doing that.

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