Am I Really Communicating Clearly?

Would it be so hard to just give a straight answer? Anyone else ever think that way? I certainly do.  

When I think that way, I generally feel frustrated, hurt, or disappointed. While it’s important to give myself space to feel those feelings, I know that the only way to change my feelings is to change my own thinking.  

That’s right. No one controls my feelings. They are my own, and I own them. So how do I do that? 

When feeling something I would rather not, I get curious. Those feelings tell me something’s missing. What do I need?  

If my need is for a closer connection, understanding, or support, I consider what those things look like to me. Then I can be clear about my experience and make a request. Saying, “you don’t get it” or “you’re not answering me,” will likely not get me the understanding or connection I need. Expressing that I need understanding and what that looks like for me creates clarity. 

By sharing thoughts and feelings openly, I increase the level of authenticity. However, I remain mindful that no person has a responsibility for my feelings. (Notice the difference between “I feel…” and “you make me feel…) 

I also get curious about what someone else needs. What is he experiencing? What does she need?  What are they feeling?

Of course, each member of a relationship gets to decide what he, she, or they are willing to do. The more people share openly, the more people understand and connect. Thinking someone else is not clear, causes me to pause and ask whether I am communicating clearly. Have I clearly expressed my feelings and/or needs?

Wishing someone would give a more definite answer simply signifies that my need for clarity has yet to met. It does not make either person good or bad or right or wrong. It calls for further dialogue. I may make the choice to ask for that clarity with quality open-ended questions, or not.

If one person in the relationship approaches conversations differently, the relationship changes. When feeling stuck, it helps to see how I may lean in with more clarity, compassion, and curiosity. 

Would you like to feel closer to your spouse, partner, family, or friends? Sign up for Communicating for Couples, Creating Connective Communications, or another on-line class. It’s not always easy, yet it may be more simple when you learn just a few new tools. 

Sherry Ann Bruckner

Sherry Ann Bruckner

Most widely known as Lonzo's human, mediator, speaker, and author Sherry Ann Bruckner works with leaders and organizations to create peace, resolve conflict, and transform visions into results.

From her twenty-plus years' experience practicing civil and family law, and her own personal experiences with silence and violence, Sherry Ann understands how much inner peace impacts outer peace. A graduate of Hamline University's College of Liberal Arts and William Mitchell College of Law, she also studied conflict resolution at Rothberg International School in Jerusalem. Sherry serves as a neutral on matters ranging from bias and employment discrimination to marriage dissolution and caring for aging parents. A speaker and trainer on the global stage, Sherry gives you and your audience practical skills and the confidence to use embrace your personal power to create peace. Through helping thousands of people navigate their way through conflict, and finding her own way to inner peace, she shares the transformational power of clarity, compassion, curiosity, and cribbage.

Visit to learn more or give her a call at (320) 808-3212.
Sherry Ann Bruckner

Be gentle with you. Be gentle with all. Be the peace.