Tag Archives: communication

The beauty of human connection…

People are wonderful, no? They’re who you get up for in the morning. Together with your passions, the beauty of sunbeams, running headfirst into playful winds and the taste of coffee and other delectables. Like chocolate. Oh la la. Pain au chocolat. 

I love the people in my life, yet I’m not particularly good at staying in touch with people. I know a lot of people. Like a LOT of people, because I’ve traveled the world and lived in seven different countries. Tends to foster friendships. But I’m great at isolating myself and terrible at staying in touch with people who aren’t in my immediate surroundings. 

There are many friends I have, in the four corners of the globe, that I’d love to see more of. But I just don’t generally message people regularly. No matter how close friends I consider them to be, or how much I value their presence in real life. 

In short, if you’re my best friend, or you’re dating me, I’ll probably message you fairly often. Otherwise, good luck. 

I talk to my business partner almost every day as well, but there’s a practical reason for that. I also call him when I’m beside myself about just about anything in South Africa. That also leads to a fair amount of phone calls.

Now, beyond that, you’re lucky if you get a message a year. Which is quite stupid, really. I was never good with small talk, so I guess it simply never occurred to me to message people. I’d prefer to write a ten-page letter. But now I have a blog, so those ten-page letters are usually posted there. Here, that is.

This year I became friends with someone who stubbornly left me voicemails. Daily. At first, I was annoyed as I’m a busy person and I think anyone who speaks with you daily is a stalker. To me, it was a completely foreign concept. Then I got really into it. Because, frankly, it’s quite nice to have someone check in on how you’re doing daily. Three-minute real-time phone conversations are even better. 

It’s about connection. You’re forging a human connection. And you’re creating a support structure — people who are there for you and you for them. Community. 

So now, I’m on a mission to connecting and reconnecting with people. Yesterday I blogged about how I want to share experiences with people; being appreciated for who I am. I’d like people to compliment my soul, while connecting with my heart. Wouldn’t we all? And that means, that I need to make an effort. I am. I have started texting people in the four corners of the world. I reach out to the people in my life where I am. I attend events to meet new people. And when I’m at home with the toddler I do my best to be present to the wonder that’s a three-year-old life. He’s a bundle of magical giggles and incredible tantrums.

Life is pretty epic when you’re connecting with beautiful souls. And drinking coffee. Don’t forget the coffee. And the pain au chocolats.

So meet me. By the Seine. With a pain au chocolat. And a cup of coffee. As the sun rises during my favorite hour of the day and we let our ideas dance along the water and spread, like mist into the morning sky.

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Filed under communication, Community, diary, Friendship, friendships, Inspiration, Inspirational, Motivation, relationships

Communicating from the heart…

Recently someone asked me what I thought about them on that one day when they met me somewhere. Automatically I told them that I thought they were raw and vulnerable that day and that it was nice. More than nice. Oh, and I wanted to rip their clothes off. 

He was like wearing this dark blue Ralph Lauren shirt and he was standing outside my office and he looked like… Oh, where was I? 

Ah yes, back to the story…

Then it hit me that that wasn’t the full truth. Because, while that was true, the first thing I thought when I laid eyes on them that day was: “I’m in so much trouble because I could fall in love with that man.” Literally. I think that was the first thought that hit my mind. But when asked what I was thinking, it was the last thought that hit my mind. Because my ego didn’t want me to say that. My ego reverted to what it thought it was safe to say. But by saying what’s safe, we never get what we want.

I used to think that emotions landed you in trouble. So I always acted aloof. Hence, I dated aloof people, who when you showed emotions for them, ran for the hills. So, I kept proving my theory to be true: you have to remain aloof at all cost. 

If I want to date people who aren’t aloof, I have to be open. If that’s what I’m showcasing, the right people will be attracted to me because they will see me. If I sell aloofness, guess who will be attracted to me? Yeah. The people who run when you show emotions. 

As my friend William Whitecloud said: Your heart is what you want and when you communicate what you want, you create a bridge to having it. Most people communicate what they believe they need to do in order to have what they want, rather than communicating what they actually want.  

I had some heartbreaking experiences as a kid and that’s why I started acting aloof. I thought that’s who you needed to be if you wanted to get a man to fall in love with you, while in fact the opposite is true. 

My ego got offended, so I started protecting my ego. Started lying about who I am. Instead of just being myself and knowing that the right match will find you and the rest will fall away. It’s simple, really. Once you remove the ego. 

And I have other ways of reacting that aren’t helpful when interacting with people too. I have to actively check what I tell clients, business partners, friends, family, etc. Am I saying what I want to say? Or am I doing and saying things in the hope of eliciting the reaction I want? 

It’s like making someone breakfast in bed and complimenting them in hopes that will spur them into taking you out for date nights, because that’s what you need to feel loved. You could just tell them that’s what you need to feel loved and ask them what they need? Maybe it’s not breakfast in bed. Maybe it’s something else entirely. 

What I’ve done in the name of provoking men to do the things I wanted them to do is too long a list to write about here. Let’s just say I’m doing my best to amend my ways. 

Anger is another classic example.

Next time you snap at someone, ask yourself if snapping is an effective way of communicating your feelings? Why are you snapping? What could they do to make you not snap? If it’s their fault. It could just be that you’re making assumptions that aren’t true. 

For example, some people assume that because their partner always works late, they don’t care about them, so they snap at them when they come home. This makes their partner feel unwelcome. Not just that: it makes them feel unappreciated for the work they put in to earn money for the household. So the next night, they work even later, or go to a bar after work; seeking appreciation elsewhere. 

The person snapping at their partner wants to feel loved, but doesn’t; that’s why they’re snapping. Creating a nasty atmosphere. Instead they could just say that they feel neglected and would like to feel appreciated. Feel loved. They can then ask their partner if there’s a way of creating that. Of doing something nice together where they both feel loved and appreciated.

This is a simple table explaining it: 

I feel neglected = I’d like to feel appreciated and this is what you can do to achieve it — do you have any other ideas? And how can I make you feel appreciated? 

I feel disrespected = I’d like to feel respected and this is what I consider being respected means — do you have any other ideas for what it means? And how can I make you feel respected?

I feel unloved = I’d like to feel loved and these are things that make me feel loved — do you have any other ideas? And how can I make you feel loved?

I don’t feel valued for the work I do = I’d like to feel like a valued member of the team and this is how I see that happening. Do you have any other ideas for making me feel valued? And how can I make you feel like a valued team member? 

Before I get anymore tangled up in trying to explain what it means to communicate from your heart, this is yours truly. Over and out. 

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Filed under business relationships, communication, friendships, Love, relationships

What did you say again?…

Isn’t it funny how life consists not of one, but a number of different stories that all take place at the same time? There is your story, i.e. how you perceive things. Then there’s the story(ies) of the person(s) that are with you. Then there’s the real, unbiased, story.

It never stops fascinating me how we can walk away from the same event with different ideas of what just transpired. I become more and more acutely aware daily that what I intend to say is not always what others hear. I think I am being very clear, but sometimes I am not one hundred percent focused and then it’s easy to just speak whatever comes to my mind – I don’t choose my words, because I may be talking about an emotional topic that makes my brain somewhat confused (I meant to write chock the other day to a friend and I wrote cock…she laughed for half an hour at my somewhat subconscious language), or just be thinking about something slightly different at the same time. What’s more you might be struggling yourself to find the words to express what’s on your mind if it’s an idea that’s born right then and there from the conversation. And even if you are damn straight, there is always the interpretation done by the other person that can confuse things, because of their state of mind, their wants and their point of view. If nothing else, writing this blog has taught me that.

So no matter how clearly you communicate things, there will still always be as many stories as there are people in the room. A word means one thing to one person, and another to someone else. So if you talk about friendship, one person will have one idea and another another idea. You constantly see life through the “glasses” of experience. You basically have a unique point of view.

Mis-communication often happens in friendships, business relations and romantic relationships, as we all walk into the relationship with a different idea of what it should look like, not necessarily voicing our hopes and assumptions to the other person. In LA the dating scene is a bit of a joke between Los Angelites themselves as everyone knows that there really are no rules. Everyone’s equally confused. Personally I think if someone’s telling you that you are amazing and wonderful, they love spending time with you, etc. it means they aren’t telling someone else the same things, but in LA – think again. If you want to be the only person someone’s dating there, you better make it damn straight from the beginning.

I know for certain that when it comes to emotions, whatever the situation, I like hinting sometimes rather than speaking my mind full out. And I think if I sit sulking in a corner that clearly means I want attention. Why do I do that? Because it’s simply to cringy to ask for the attention and say that I need some TLC. In any kind of relationship I find it hard to say what I want at times, because it sounds demanding. At other times I threaten because I’m scared. Of course I am getting better at communicating after years of practice, but Jesus, when I was younger I should have come with an instruction manual! (And I really wish that all guys would come with one too!!! Especially if they say they are good at communicating, because usually those are the worst.)

The funny thing is that I have a lot of friends whose opinion of me I know nothing of apart from they like spending time with me. In fact I think the only person I know what she thinks about me is my best friend and even in that relationship I don’t know everything.

I’m quite straight forward, I mean I might hint rather than speak clearly at times (but I might also be super blunt, it all depends), but pretty much what you see is what you get. I don’t tell people I’m interested in dating them if I’m not. I don’t hang out with people I don’t like. I don’t do business with people I don’t respect. Basically, it’s rare I have ulterior motives in that sense and I rarely lie (if I do it’s out of necessity, because I am sworn to secrecy or something), but there are people that do lie and to me when I have been lied to I find it very hard to ever trust the person again. So long as it’s not some silly white lie of course, to enhance a story, or whatever. There are different kinds of lying though. E.g. to me lying is dating two people at the same time. But in LA that’s not lying. That’s just the way it is.

I guess what I’m trying to say that it’s rather funny how we all walk into situations with different expectations and wants, how we interpret other peoples’ signals from our own perspective (and wants) and how we assume everyone else think like us. It’s like you think, because we are all in this life together as human beings we should have similar ideas about life, but not necessarily so. Try asking people what’s the meaning of life – everyone has a slightly different answer. And even if five different people say “It’s having fun.”, having fun means something different to each one of them. Just like love, friendship, business, partying, hanging out, having a good time, having great sex, going traveling and doing yoga means something different to each individual.

If we want to get what we want in this life, learning to communicate clearly and truly finding out what each important thing you say means to each individual, is crucial. I think I might also start asking people how they perceive me, because it might just open my eyes to who other people think I am. I may think something else entirely, but then I am for sure not communicating that person clearly enough. And wouldn’t it be easier if bosses created clear ideas of what they want from their staff and the staff let their boss know what they need to feel happy with their jobs?

Sometimes it’s cringy expressing what you want, or truly sharing your emotions with people, but I do believe that if we learnt to share our thoughts and feelings, really listen to one another (an not sit thinking about how everything the person says reflects back to me, me, me), and really ask people what they want from us, what makes them happy (you know how some people buy gifts they would like for other people and it doesn’t always go down all that well?) and how they perceive us, so that we know what we are communicating, then life would be easier. I know for sure it would save me heartaches – he said he really likes me and that scares him, meaning he is really interested in me, meaning he isn’t wanting to date the whole rest of the world, meaning he is actually looking to get seriously involved with me as he is scared. No, just, no, no, no. (I think it took me till last year to figure that one out.) Also, some people mean one thing one minute and another the next. “You change your mind, like a girl changes clothes…” And hey, even if someone has the noblest intentions, as always ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS. And there are some really gorgeous people on this planet, speaking really loudly!!! I hope to be one of them and I’m very happy to know some of them!

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