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  • Miyabi

How to Reduce Communication Gaps 1: Some Tips From a Psych Major

I wonder if you decided to read this article because you have experienced frustration in communication where you thought, “You should’ve told me!” and “Why wasn’t that communicated?”

If so, I want to tell you, “Good job for pulling through even when you experienced those moments!” (Because I am proud of you all.)

Communication is extremely important in interacting with others in our everyday lives. At times, we get frustrated from not being able to communicate our thoughts and understand what others are thinking. So, in two separate articles, I will introduce some ways to help you feel less stressed in communication.

In this article, I will introduce “how to communicate your feelings” in different categories. (The ones I discuss in this article are only a few of many methods, so if they do not work for you, that is okay. Try out a few of them, and find the method that works for you.)

If you are good at writing:

Before communicating

  • Organize your thoughts on paper or iPad

  • Write down your feelings in bullet points

Ask yourself at the moment

  • What do I want to communicate?

  • What feelings am I experiencing?

How to communicate

  • Use a written note

  • Send an email or LINE message

Ask yourself at the moment

  • What is the most efficient and easily understandable method for written communication?

  • What is the best form of communication that does not tire me out?

If you are good at verbalizing:

Before communicating

  • Record yourself and listen to it.

  • Use the transcribing function and turn your speech into a script.

Ask yourself at the moment

  • What is my tone like?

  • Am I conveying what I want to say?

How to communicate

  • Video chat

  • Make time to see them in person

  • Record a voice message or write a message to send on LINE

Ask yourself at the moment

  • Is it easier for me to talk?

  • Is it better for me to hear their voice AND see their face?

If you have no idea what to say:

How to communicate

  • Be honest with what you don’t understand.

  • You can let them know if you don’t have anything to say.

  • If you are still thinking about what you want to say, say that "I’m organizing my thoughts a little bit. Can you give me some time?"

  • If your thoughts need to be organized, you can communicate the current status of your mind: "I’m feeling like XX and XX right now but I want to organize my thoughts more, so can you wait a little bit?"

Ask yourself at the moment

  • Do you feel bad for communicating what you are feeling?

  • Do they pick up on your feelings without you telling them?

In this article, I introduced some ways to communicate your feelings. In the next one, I will talk about ways to understand others’ feelings.

There is a tendency in Japan to expect people to pick up on non-verbal cues and understand how others are feeling. But it would be a waste for your relationships to fall out because of a lack of communication. I think that if we can reduce the stress that comes from gaps in communication then we can build relationships with others more smoothly.

Nobody is perfect from the beginning.

That is why thinking about why something did not go well or what could have been different is such a big step or even a few steps in developing your communication skills.

For those who read this long article! I hope you can now take a break with your favorite sweets or drinks.

Translated by Mutsumi Ogaki

Edited by Emiru Okada

Graphic by Emily Mogami

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