We’ve already gone through the full-on overview in the last post (High Comms: 101), and as promised, I’m back to go through each point in the overview one-by-one, in uber/ridiculous/awesome/potentially-too-much detail. I enjoy over-the-top, and I’m guessing since you’re reading, you do as well. Sweet.
So here we go, answering the question: How do we do it? How do we cultivate the ability to consistently achieve and practice high comms?
(And therefore get all the benefits that come along with such a practice—improved relationships across the board, home/work/love/supermarket checkout lady/etc, greatly improved confidence in your sense of self, being just plain happier every day, among other things like more energy, motivation, oomph, engagement, consciousness, cool-factor, comedy, etc, things of that nature. (I will refer back to this list, so I bolded it to make it easier for you to review later. Word.) Also, if you’re unsure WHY these things result from living a high comms lifestyle, please email me asap (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will for sure write an entry to fill you in, educate you on the logic of this reality, so you can step into your own high comms sure of what you’re working toward, and confident it will in fact bring about all of the things listed and more. Because it will.)
Step 1, Answer—the following is what I wrote in the last post, upon which we’ll expand:
“Be cool with you. Like for reals. I’m talking, you gotta know, like really know, deep down, you’re a good, awesome, loving person so that you’ll always know your comms come with good intentions, despite how they may be received by others.”
Ok, so why is this important?
This one speaks to the people-pleasers of the world who live under the self-imposed regime of never wanting to upset anyone. These peeps think that pleasing everyone, keeping everyone happy, not making waves, avoiding confrontations or disagreements, etc, is actually the way they can best help. Their intentions are pure. They mean well. Thing is though, they’re wrong. When we do this, we people-please ourselves right out of not only our own bigger-picture happiness, we never really earn deep-rooted trust of anyone. We lose our own bigger-picture/longer-term happiness because we are putting the happiness of others before our own—and how can we achieve our own happiness when we are not putting energy into making it reality? The answer is, we can’t.
Easiest example of this one is romantic relationships where we try to make the other person happy because we think that will be best for the relationship. Almost across the board, we ultimately become unhappy at the other’s responses, we don’t have as much energy to keep up the pleasing, we crumble under that upset and our own depletion, and the relationship crumbles along with it. There is no trust here. On some level when we’re people-pleasing, we believe that the person would not love us if we just were our normal selves. If we’re always trying to make the situation good and happy for others, how can people really trust us to tell our own truth? Answer again, is they can’t. So they don’t. And we shouldn’t expect them to.
Essentially, as people-pleasers, we provide the framework to build relationships without trust.
Ouch, right? Yeah. My guess is this is not the intention of anyone who fits into the people-pleasing category. But it is the result.
Worse, than creating relationships without trust, this type of behavioral machinery can also lead us into further destructive avoidance—things that are really detrimental, knocking us further down the trustability ladder. And definitely down the happiness ladder. Perhaps you cheat on someone you really just want to break up with. Perhaps you don’t own up to a mistake at work when it happens, and when your boss finds out later, it’s only made things worse. Perhaps you can’t go to a friend’s wedding and instead of telling them the moment you know, you procrastinate on making that phone call to the point where your friends are pissed when they would have been understanding. It could be anything where avoiding a situation or conversation makes our circumstances way worse than if we had trusted that addressing things right away would have been best for all involved.
Now, most of the time, people-pleasers don’t even know they’re doing it.
It’s behavioral stuff operating beneath their conscious mind, and as such, they intend well, but never seem to get what they really want—which is all those things on the list (bolded above). Understandably frustrating of course to think you’re doing good, doing right by people, and all that good stuff, and in the end still falling short of the deep connections you want, the kind of love that lasts, the kind of friends that you can call any hour of the day or night, the promotion you feel you are due for at work, etc.
Man, I sound like a big judger of people-pleasers. Nope. The reason I can speak of people-pleasers with such calm, non-judgmental authority, is because I was one. I get that we got it from stuff that happened way back in the day. I get how hard it is to see ourselves doing it. And I get how hard it is to change once we do. Totally. I was definitely that girl who avoided confrontation. Sh*t, I would cry at the mere thought of having to engage in a conversation that might upset the other person, or worse, make the other person mad. Seriously, I totally couldn’t handle any of it. Or so I thought then. Clearly I could handle it, and did. If this is you, you can too. We all can handle it. We can. You can. You just need to know how.
SO, all this said, the thing, the tweak, the new thought that gets us over our people-pleasing hump… is Step 1 of high comms. Consistently and consciously remind ourselves that we are good people.. that our intentions are pure.. that telling the truth in ourselves or a situation, even in the face of confrontation, disagreement, or upset, will in fact be the best and right thing to do for everyone.
Be cool with exactly who we are, what we feel, and what we have to contribute from those roots of good intention.
Countering our internal and subconscious drive to disregard what we really feel and think for the sake of the seemingly smoothest sailing.
Consciousness is key here, wake up to your people-pleasing tendencies if you have them, and when you see them at work, choose the reminders above instead to get you over the hump and into actually practicing high comms. This is not your get-out-of-jail-free card to be an a**hole. Duh, we care about others, as we should. Simply speak the facts with tact, grace, and heart as needed. From there, the list will begin to be materialize for you. See the bolded list above once more for good measure. So you know what you really will gain. And this, all from the new trust you are building with others based on the new trust you have in yourself.