This is a post about everyday mindful communication, setting healthy boundaries and ultimately speaking less in everyday life. Although I should talk less and just allow Thich Nhat Hanh‘s beautiful words sink in, I am inviting you to continue reading this short text about the stories we tell everyone (including ourselves), about self-knowledge, choosing interlocutors wisely and setting boundaries. By knowing yourself, listening to your wake up calls, controlling the narratives, setting boundaries and being gentle yet resolute, you can communicate more clearly, compassionately and more mindfully every day. Choose silence over chatter to improve the quality of your inner and social life.
Some stories are just stories
Since early childhood, you thrive imagining you are a hero, a princess, so the more colorful the story, the better. The whole human existence is possible thanks to the stories you repeat to yourself, you believe, and you make up to survive.
However, some stories are just stories. Religions and politics are stories. Your family, friends and teachers tell you tales that, most probably, helped shape who you are and what and how you think.
It is time you stopped living according to those narratives
The family trauma may be a real thing, but who you are is not what your grandfather was and did when he was 22. Meditate, practice introspection, go deep into your mind and wake up.
How can you use self inquiry to speak less and communicate better? Let’s see where to start.
1. Know yourself
I am sharing my experience as I have gained a better understanding of myself and the world around me, hence have become more balanced and self-loving. Now I love more, speak less, live better and enjoy more of everything that happens, either good or bad. I take better care of myself and I spend most of my waking moments being mindful and present. Seven years ago, I went online, and out of nowhere typed in the words: “unconditional love.” At the time I was experiencing a very traumatic relationship that was a trigger to a radical change in my everyday life. Focusing on my well-being and prioritizing myself has developed into “my religion” since then.
Knowing yourself means knowing why and how you react to life situations. Your thoughts, heavy traffic, noise, work piling up, death of a loved one, etc are all situations in which you can apply mindfulness and self-control. Emotions are often overwhelming, and you should welcome emotions – they make you human. Uncontrolled emotions on the other hand, create havoc, stress and negative energy that you should avoid at all cost.
2. Listen to your wake up calls
In two different instances, two people pointed out that I was not a gracious presence. In 2012, an ex told me: when you are having fun, some of us aren’t (referring to me being the party animal I used to be.) I wrote about why my story needs to be told here. Some years later, a much younger girl cut me off in the middle of my blubbering about my difficult childhood saying: “we are here to learn, not to speak about personal sad stories.” We were both attending a self-development program. The shock! The pain! The reflection and then the action.
Since 2013, I have been watching my reactions to external stimuli, my words, my thoughts, everything I release into this world. I cannot say I have reached my full potential, but I am growing and helping others grow as well.
3. Be wise in your everyday mindful communication
Once you know yourself and understand what is and what is not worth sharing, you consciously select the moment of sharing and the recipients of your message, having one sole purpose in mind: helping people learn and grow. You calculate every move you make, and you make sure that before you speak what you are saying is: truthful, useful and makes you and the other happy.
When you become mindful and intently listen to all the words that come out of your mouth, you realize that very often it’s better to keep silent than talk. Not everyone is interested – and so they shouldn’t – in what you want to share.
Be sensible in sharing, and the Universe will shoot better stories at you. Share the good, the pleasant, give plenty of success accounts and stop blurting out negativity. Stop encouraging gossip, fear and panic. Put your own fears to rest first, and the world will become a better place. Speak less words and you’ll lie less.
4. Set healthy boundaries
Listening to stories that do not pique your interest is an effort you must not make. Becoming the informal therapist of friends and recent acquaintances alike is not healthy. Be aware, once you are more open and mindful, listen intently, never interrupt your interlocutor, you start attracting troubled individuals who need a shoulder to cry on. They sense the good energies, and want a piece for themselves. Empaths attract narcissists, but vice versa is also true. Just be mindful and observe the attraction patterns occurring. It is time you set healthy boundaries between you and energy vampires of any kind.
Your primary responsibility is to love yourself. And life is so short. It is beneficial to both parties to cut to a minimum conversations that make you feel like a recipient filled to the brim with someone else’s irresponsible tribulations. Both parties are uncomfortable when vibes exchanged are not similar. Not better or worse, just different.
5. Be gentle yet resolute in your mindful everyday communication
First, let people know you cannot save them unless they intend to save themselves. By just listening to individuals vent, you accumulate energy that may cause you unrest and help them unload an energy burden while not solving their issues.
Second, inform “professional complainers” that you refuse to be their therapist as it makes you feel used. Admitting you are vulnerable will make the other person realize they should censor the energy they release. Telling people you don’t agree to listen to their stories is a giant leap towards your inner peace.
Before you go, review the 5 things you might want to do every day in order to be more mindful in communication:
5 things to do for mindful everyday communication:
1.Know yourself, listen to your intuition, work on yourself and quit living someone else’s life.
2.Listen to your wake up calls. Only true friends usually point out your faults, so listen to them.
3.Be wise in everyday communication; better be mindful and speak less than be inauthentic.
4.Set healthy boundaries, because your happiness is a priority.
5.Be gentle yet resolute in your everyday mindful communication.
Also, check out this article about The Zone, mindfulness and living in the flow:
Do you find these tips useful? Please share your ideas in the comment section. I would love to hear them! I write for you, so your comment means a lot to me.
Vivi has been writing about the process of self-realization through mindfulness and compassion since the age of six. She helps people know themselves and live their best life. Vivi has been teaching English and Romanian to 10,000 + students since 1990, and she has been blogging about the role of cooking at the intersection of food and self-mastery using simple recipes and copyright food photos.