Miscommunication or crossed-wires can cause anger. This is because we as humans do not like to feel like we are misunderstood. However, it is very important to look at the other person’s perspective in any given situation. It may be that you need to improve the way that you communicate your feelings to your friends and family. This may mean that you need to analyse your feelings alone or with a therapist before you bring up the issue with your friend or partner.
As feelings are subjective, it is sometimes very hard for other people to see the reasons behind your behaviour. This means that unless you explain the reasons behind the hurt, the upset and the anger, that they are never going to understand where you are coming from.
When dealing with someone who is expressing their feelings it is imperative that you do not invalidate their feelings and when you, yourself are expressing your feelings, point out that you do not appreciate anyone who attempts to invalidate yours. The other person is not you and therefore has no idea what you are feeling. The only way that the other person is going to realise how much they have hurt you is through you communicating and explaining to that person what they did wrong and how it made you feel. This then gives them a chance to explain their motives and what drove them to the behaviour; more often than not the person didn’t intend to hurt you or didn’t even realise that their actions would hurt your feelings.
Miscommunication between men and women happen frequently as women use communication as a way of discussing a problem and through this discussion women feel better about that problem. Men however, will have a discussion to find a solution to the problem. Therefore when a woman comes to talk to her partner about a problem she faced at work today, he often doesn’t realise that that is all she wants to do: discuss her problems with him. Whereas he may feel like they are having this discussion for the purpose of him to find a solution to the problem.
On the other hand, when a man has a problem that he does not wish to discuss he will often withdraw. His female partner will often feel like she is there to help him and will be offended at this new withdrawal, not realising that this is his way of dealing with his problems.
This anger, hurt and upset explored above could have been avoided if couples, friends and co-workers were more sensitive and listened to what the other person is trying to say and be as understanding as possible.
Exploring your feelings with a therapist will help you to improve your communication as people in general would benefit if they stopped reacting defensively on impulse and actively listened to the person sharing their issues.
Written by Hannah Johnson