In our communications class we talk about judgment. Many people say:
“Judgment is bad. Don’t do it.”
“You have no right to judge.”
However, as we discuss judgment in class, we think about the fact that it is important that we DO judge -- some things.
We have to be able to judge if someone is going to harm us or not. We need to judge in some way, just so that we can protect ourselves.
Most people take the Principles of Communication course and expect to improve communication in terms of how they talk with other people. They expect improved relationships, or hope to be able to work with co-workers more effectively, or hope to find a way to set boundaries with a “difficult person” in their lives.
Time and time again, the feedback form tells me that the Number One thing that they gained from the course was increased positive self esteem.
That’s exactly why I teach the course.
I keep thinking about one particular question, and that question has changed my life.
*Why do I want to communicate?
One reason we don’t succeed at setting goals is because we have not identified what we value, so we don’t know why what we are doing is important. For example, suppose our goal is this:
Keep the house clean.
So I make a plan, and I decide: I am going to clean the bathroom every week.
One day one of my sons said to me, “I am just never going to understand math.”
He was very discouraged. He had spent a long time doing his math assignment, but only got 12 out of 25 problems right.
He said, “I don’t understand math. It doesn’t make any sense to me.”
I said to him, “What are you going to do?”
Words can have a powerful influence in our lives.
I remember an experience when I was about 13 years old. One of the women in our local church congregation came up to me and handed me a note card. Inside, she had written a nice letter, telling how much she respected me, and how happy she was to know me. She expressed appreciation for a talent she had noticed I had, and told me she really cared about me.
A friend of mine told me about her very frustrating day last week. She had volunteered to watch a neighbor’s children while the neighbor went to an appointment. She did this willingly, and wanted to help her friend.
However, the neighbor was late getting back. After the appointment, she had stopped to do some other things. She arrived home more than two hours after my friend had expected her.
My friend was upset about this. She wanted to know what she should have done.
I asked her if she could label her specific feelings.