Why can some people articulate so well while the rest of us feel like we fumble over every word and especially when we are trying to express how we really feel or share our opinion on something.
The answer can be complicated because it can be a little different for each person, but in general the short answer is, most people don’t want to offend or hurt someone they care about. In reality, we don’t want to offend, anger, or make others upset with us even if we don’t care about them. So, we stifle our true feelings and end up not speaking up when we should.
A key phrase you shouldn’t ignore is, “when we should.” There are times when it’s not appropriate or times when giving our opinion would not make any difference at all. In fact, it could cause more trouble than it’s worth if we use the wrong opportunities to express ourselves. Before we share these specific ways to help you express yourself better, it’s important to note that careful consideration must be given to when and where you express how you feel and what you think. Being able to share how you feel, articulate it well, and let those (especially those you love most) know what you’re really thinking is critical, but not at the expense of causing pain or chaos. As the saying goes, timing is everything!
Now that we have cleared up the timing aspect of expressing yourself, let’s go back to our original thought of why some people can articulate so well while the rest of use fumble over our words. It may seem like those super communicators have some kind of genetic makeup the rest of us don’t, but rest assured, that’s not so. It’s just they have a little more experience maybe, or some training, and certainly some skills that we may not have. The goal then is to learn from them and apply the same techniques to our own lives and how we express ourselves. So, let’s look at these seven key components of expressing yourself well.
“7 Key Components to Successfully Sharing how You Really Feel with Others.”
Take a moment –
When you are trying to articulate your feelings, don’t be afraid to take a moment and breathe. It’s okay to take it slow, think it through, and pause to regroup and get your thoughts together. When you’re trying to express yourself, pausing is your best friend! Take whatever time you need to clearly share what you think and how you feel.
Practice what you will say in advance –
Practice doesn’t make perfect, but it definitely prepares you ahead of time for what you want to accomplish. When you come into a conversation being prepared and with what you’re going to say well thought out, it will help you feel more in control and relaxed.
Be pitch perfect –
Remember, how you say it is more important than what you say. Use positive words and be as kind as you possibly can. Be aware of the tone of your voice and the level at which you are speaking. Do your best to be as perfect as you can in the delivery of your message.
Cut to the chase –
Don’t be around the bush. Say what you mean and mean what you say. It can be tempting when you feel nervous or intimidated to over articulate and add a lot of unnecessary words. Use caution and save yourself and the person you’re speaking with a ton of time by just cutting to the chase!
Don’t keep repeating –
Unintentionally, you can make someone feel stupid or inadequate if you keep saying the same thing over and over. It’s like you are emphasizing the same thought as though the other party doesn’t understand what you’re trying to say. There will be an opportunity for questions and to repeat something if necessary for clarification but be careful not to just keep repeating yourself out of being a little nervous or anxious.
Use short and concise phrases –
Having some note cards to help you stay on track is totally fine. You can write out some bullet points around your idea or opinion. A good example phrase would be, “When you did _____, I felt _____. I felt this way because _______. Try not to over explain and just keep it short and sweet.
Save time for clarity questions –
This could be the most important piece. You want to have time for the other person to express themselves and to ask questions if they are not clear over everything you have expressed. This is where your listening skills can be incorporated. Make it a point not to interrupt and to allow the person you’re speaking with the opportunity to share as well. Continue to work through any misunderstandings and get clarity around what you wanted to express to begin with.
The result of successfully expressing yourself is being able to get your point across easily, not causing any undo tension, and most importantly preserving those relationships that are important to you. If you apply these 7 components when you are sharing how you really feel, you will see a positive difference in the important conversations you engage in.
Article Written By:
Kim Martin, Founder of I’ve Decided, INC.