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Knowing Your Message vs Delivering Your Message

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Have you ever sent a text message only to have it misinterpreted by the person reading it? Happens all the time. Have you ever given a presentation that you were totally prepared for only to have it fall flat? Happens all the time. Have you ever had someone ask you something like, “Why are you mad?” when you were not at all mad? Happens all the time.

What is going on with these communications? The answer is the difference between knowing your message and delivering your message; those are two very different things.

Effective communication is about using both.

One of the main causes of miscommunication with the spoken word has little to do with the words themselves. Research done by Prof. Albert Mehrabian (UCLA) in the 1970s showed that people overwhelmingly interpret what someone says, not just by the actual words spoken, but by the speaker’s body language and tone of voice that accompany them. His famous breakdown, known as the “7–38–55 rule, suggests that when someone is ‘taking in’ your message, here is what their brain takes into account: 7% words, 38% sound, and 55% look. This doesn’t mean that the words aren’t important, but rather, if your sound and look do not match or support the words, the words will not be believed.

Think about it. If I walked into the room and told you that I was “happy to be here today and looking forward to working with you,” but I sounded as if I was already bored and this was taking up time that I could be using to do something else, you wouldn’t believe my words. If I spoke the exact same words while having a smile on my face, making eye contact with you, and behaving like I was genuinely looking forward to working with you, there would be no disconnect, and you would stay engaged.

We have a bad habit of just opening our mouths and responding or of opening our mouths and reciting something we memorized. When we do those things, we take the human component out of the mix, and we are left with only the words, which on their own, don’t mean a whole heck of a lot and can be easily misinterpreted.

There is nowhere that is demonstrated more perfectly than in texts or emails. When I only have words to convey a message, it is easy for those words to be misread. Why? Because, when you take out the human components of vocal tone and behavior, the words are just information without any meaning attached to them. When I only have words without any meaning accompanying them, I am going to read those words based on my current situation. In other words, if I’m having a bad day, they can be read one way and if I am having a great day, they can be read another way.

We do this all the time. The result? Miscommunication.

So what can you do to make sure your messages, words, and ideas don’t get misinterpreted? Two big things.

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” – Tony Robbins

Take one breath and connect to your message

Take a breath before you open your mouth and think about how you feel about what you are about to say. Take just a moment to connect with your message. Is what you’re about to say a good thing? A bad thing? A suggestion? Are you speaking up to inform or to argue? Are you wanting to learn more about what someone else just said or are you ready to move on with the conversation?

By taking a moment to connect with how you feel about what you are about to say, your brain will help you with the appropriate tone of voice and behavior cues. When you don’t do this, you are on autopilot, and autopilot takes choice out of the mix. It causes you to react (autopilot) instead of respond (be intentional).

Use words that “set the tone”

When you are texting and emailing, feel free to include words that “set the tone.” For example, if I send you a text that reads, “I can’t handle that right now, you’re going to have to do it on your own,” that could be read as you don’t care, you don’t want to help, you are abandoning me or you are mad at me for even asking because you think I should have just taken care of it on my own to begin with.

WOW! That’s a lot of extra “stuff” to throw on top of a handful of words, isn’t it? But that’s exactly what happens. (Notice that nobody ever adds positive stuff, do they?) 😉

But, if I added just a tiny bit of context to my text (by taking a moment to think about it), it might completely avoid miscommunication and a bad situation. By doing this, I might type this instead, “I am so swamped right now, sorry. I know you can handle it! We’ll connect later,” none of those snarky or negative feelings accompany my message. I just ‘get it.’

When you start paying attention to the meaning behind your words, you can make choices in the moment that help your “audience” understand your message clearly the first time they hear or read it. That is what differentiates effective communicators from average communicators.

Robin Sacks teaches smart people how to shift their self-talk, body language, and mental attention, so that they show-up in a more powerful, confident, and effective way, no matter what the situation or who is in the room. Professionally, she is an award-winning journalist, award-winning author, professional speaker and confidence coach. Personally, she's a mom, wife, and friend. Robin has facilitated personal and professional development programs focused on Public Speaking, Executive Presence, and Self-Confidence internationally for companies including Microsoft, Panera, and American Greetings. Her own professional experience includes being an on-air talent for NBC and ABC network affiliates, during which time she trained Emmy award nominees and an Emmy award winner. Robin's coaching clients range from young athletes to Fortune 500 Executives. Get inspired anytime at https://www.robinjsacks.com. If you're ready to jump right in, check out her online course, Owning Your Confidence.

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5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma

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Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.

 

Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:

 

1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.

 

2. Persistent Pain

 
Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
 
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.
 
 

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

 
Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
 
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
 
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
 
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.
 

4. A strong need for control

 
It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
 
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
 
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.
 
 

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

 
Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
 
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.
 
 

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

 
Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
 
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.
 

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

 
 
If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to awebliss.com and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
 
 
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