How many times have you hurt someone you care about unintentionally because of something you said?
If we interpret what we hear differently is because we have different sets of beliefs and innate characteristics. Sometimes, what or how we communicate, unintentionally hurts someone we care about. It takes a great deal of humility, and courage to be able to sincerely apologize when you hurt someone unintentionally.
An apology is not an admittance of fault, it is a simple reminder to you and the other person that you meant no harm; hopefully, this creates the space for forgiveness.
Good communication is the foundation of all good relationships, both personal and professional. There are many communication styles but couple that we some of the bad habits we might have learned as a child and it may be the recipe for unintentional harm; the key AWARENESS. Be aware of how your communication is being perceived, be aware of what the other person is really understanding.
Sometimes, how we say something is more important so we have to be cognizant of how our body language, facial expressions, and tonality are being perceived as well.
When we are triggered due to something that was said, it is important to recognize it and fight off the tendency to attack back. Once a person is in defense mode, the conversation has shifted into something negative.
When that happens, avoid blaming, name-calling, using sarcasm, threatening, exaggerating, or pointing fingers, all of these will change the person’s willingness to open up and will get you nowhere; on the contrary, it can cause more hurt feelings.
In essence, communication is not what we say it is what the other person understood. Speak genuinely. Be quick to recognize when something you said caused an unintentional response. Be quick to apologize. Our relationships are much more important than being right, getting our point across and getting our way.