After several of my children asked me on different occasions if I was unhappy, when I wasn’t, I started thinking about why. Like most parents, I wanted my children to have happy thoughts when we get together to talk. Therefore, I started taking notice of how I deliver my messages. What’s my mood right before I engage in conversation? Am I rushed for time? Am I stressed about something totally unrelated? Am I physically tired and I don’t realize it shows on my face?
There are a lot of things to consider before you communicate with your children or your spouse. Timing and body language is so critical to the delivery of a message. It’s the little things you don’t notice that will be noticeable to the message receiver. It’s usually not what you say, but how you say it.
You can communicate a lot without speaking a word. Raising your eyebrows can show surprise or doubt. A frown can mean unhappiness. A smile can indicate happiness, but combined with your eyes can also show sarcasm. A long, hard stare shows anger. Bulging eyes can reveal shock.
What you see is what you get, not what you hear or what’s not said being said. Although your mouth is speaking words, your body is talking simultaneously. It can distract the receiver from what you are saying.
Try looking in the mirror and practicing how you are saying something before you say it. Consider your words and facial expressions and most importantly think about what’s in your heart and make sure your motivation is in the right place. What you’re thinking oozes out of your pores like an overdose of glue sandwiched between two pieces of paper. Your body language is what will stick in someone’s mind.
Learn to be a good communicator, and if you want to win at home—you’ll take notice.