One of my biggest frustrations in life springs from my inability to communicate (in writing or orally) without feeling stupid and/or ineffective after. I always feel inarticulate, that I could’ve phrased something better but couldn’t so it just comes out in shambles. If it’s spontaneous, I will either shut up or come up with something incoherent. My amateur communication skills are most palpable at work or at university, but also applies to everyday conversations to some degree. (Ironically, my undergraduate degree is in Communication). So yeah, I can’t help but feel jealous of confident and eloquent people out there.
Yesterday, I came across this passage from Alain de Botton’s book, “The Course of Love”, about what makes a good communicator (in other words, what I am clearly not) and it makes a lot of sense. It stems from low-self esteem and fear of not being accepted and making a fool of one’s self. Knew it!!! That’s obviously my problem. (The book, by the way, hasn’t failed to amaze me and touch my core page after page.)
“What makes people good communicators is, in essence, an ability not to be fazed by the more problematic or offbeat aspects of their own characters. They can contemplate their anger, their sexuality, and their unpopular, awkward, or unfashionable opinions without losing confidence or collapsing into self-disgust. They can speak clearly because they have managed to develop a priceless sense of their own acceptability. They like themselves well enough to believe that they are worthy of, and can win, the goodwill of others if only they have the wherewithal to present themselves with the right degree of patience and imagination.
As children, these good communicators must have been blessed with caregivers who knew how to love their charges without demanding that every last thing about them be agreeable and perfect. Such parents would have been able to live with the idea that their offspring might sometimes — for a while, at least — be odd, violent, angry, mean, peculiar, or sad, and yet still deserve a place within the circle of familial love. The parents would thus have created an invaluable wellspring of courage from which those children would eventually be able to draw to sustain the confessions and direct conversations of adult life.”