Dr. "Jackal" and Mr. Hide

Avoiding the feelings is avoiding the needs that drive them. 

So often some of our most basic and useful survival skills - like Anxiety, Judgement, Meaning Making, and Threat Detection, can get in the way of effective communication. Palms get sweaty, hearts start to flutter, or we freeze, "like a deer in headlights" or get spooked and yell, "I DON"T KNOW!" 

Sometimes, words even manage to evade the "Will this be too Awkward" filter all together and end up in funky puddle of "....Uh's," "Uuuummm's," overly enthusiastic "Yeah....Sure's!" or "Whaaatever's." For the Control-Stuff-Avoider, saying, "Great!" or "I'm fine" or "Good," to a casual "Hey, how are you?" can feel lethal. Sometimes, it's easier to elegantly deflect attention with a, "And you?" This is a pattern of avoidance...and emotional avoidance leads to conflict avoidance. When explaining what you really think and feel is judged as "unnecessary," it's time to take a look at how "what's necessary" gets determined.  

Taking the time to learn what you value teaches you what stock you put in how you communicate with others. 

Whatever your communication default is, trust me....you're not alone. You've got good company. There are many like you out there thinking, "...but how do I do it differently?"

Check out this short and delightful TEDx talk by Nonviolent Communication (NVC for short) facilitator and trainer, Yoram Mosenson. Here he introduces the basic concepts of NVC. It's a model and method for learning how to identify what you feel, treat it and yourself with respect, and therefore treat communicating with others with more respect. Through basic NVC principles, you can learn about the relationship between your thoughts and feelings, needs and emotions, and what your core values are.