Feeling Heard

We all know that listening is as important to effective communication as speaking. And yet, how often do you really feel heard? If it's not as often as you'd like, might it be because your words are communicating one thing and your energy is communicating something else?

I experienced this firsthand recently with my hair stylist. I've been going to the same talented stylist for almost 10 years, so clearly I've been happy with his work. And yet, the last time I went something wacky happened. I went in for a trim and walked out with 7" less hair than I had when I walked in. We'd talked about freshening up the shape, I'd had long hair for over 5 years, and I had expressed only a vague intention of going shorter at some point in the future. Still, there I was with a no-man's land hair cut. The Goldilocks cut. Too short to be long, too long to be short.

What happened??

As I gave Elizabeth the play-by-play, railing and ranting and complaining about how horribly wrong this had all gone, she calmly turned the conversation to a more constructive path. "He must have been picking up on your pictures of short hair, and was trying to match both the energy you were throwing and the words you were saying."

Thud.

Yup.

Mixed signals.

And this kind man, whom I'd seen faithfully every 6-8 weeks for almost a decade, had unknowingly stepped in a minefield. Hell hath no fury like a woman who hates her new haircut, am I right?

And there, my energy-flinging friends, is the key to being heard. In order to be really heard, not just listened to, you have to be aware of the vibes you're giving off in addition to the words you're speaking. 

It's one thing to talk a good game, to speak your truth, to tell it like it is...and if your energy doesn't match, you're not going to be heard clearly. People can tell, even if they haven't developed their spidey-senses with years of meditation. 

You shape your narrative not only with the words you speak, but also with the attitudes you project. That's why being crystal clear with yourself is so important to effective communication.

If you don't really believe what you're saying, why should anyone else?

Pay attention to the messages you're communicating. Do they match the stories you're telling yourself energetically? Do they match your true pictures?

Bring them into alignment - either by changing the pictures or by changing the narrative.

And notice what happens.