In the past, I used to really struggle with knowing why I didn’t connect with people, and why some conversations were so much more difficult than others.
Am I communicating poorly? Or am I talking to someone who’s wrong for me? It can be really difficult to tell.
If you get into any form of conflict with someone, you’re often going to be asking yourself later, Was I the asshole? Or was I struggling because the other person is?
One way to figure out the difference is to ask yourself, How are they responding to my struggle?
See, if someone’s right for me, if they’re confident and healthy and loving, then even if I’m getting my words wrong and not really stating my case very clearly, they’ll have empathy, they’ll have compassion, they’ll try to understand.
But if someone’s attacking the way I’m speaking, as a way of winning the argument, that’s a big red flag. So I don’t actually need to worry if I’m communicating well or not because their reaction to my errors shows me their attitude towards me.
That isn’t to say I can’t take responsibility for being a better communicator. It’s just that before I try to improve how I express myself, I should assess whether it’s worth the effort with this person.