Communication is complex.
By “complex” I don’t mean “convoluted or impossible.” I mean “made up of many parts.”
In addition to words, there are people. And people are complex. Change one little factor like the weather, the time of day, the mood, the personality type, the tone of voice, the gestures, or the cultural background and the possibilities for misunderstanding can grow exponentially.
Nevertheless, communication is worth the work. As a species, everything essential to our survival, wellness, happiness, and freedom depends on our ability to evolve through our communication challenges.
Sometimes we feel tempted to shut down or shut up when effective communication seems hard. While there are certainly cases where we should all choose to exit conversations that aren’t leading to truthful and constructive outcomes, it’s also important that we don’t demonize the experience of tensions, disagreement, and argumentation. Some of the most brilliant insights can emerge from the very conversations that are least pleasant, least fun, and least “successful” in the moment.
Work hard at being a better communicator. Work even harder at keeping the faith in the power of communication when you and others fail to communicate well.