the power of communication

February 19, 2020

「話す」ことの持つパワー

 

シンプルに聞こえるけど、実はとても大きな意味がある、「話す」こと。最近、話すこと・伝えることの大事さを身をもって感じることが多くて、それを言葉で記録しておきたいと思った。

 

Communication-- it sounds simple, but has a huge meaning.

These days, I've started to understand the importance of communication and what it's all about and wanted to document my thoughts.

 

 

私は、あまり自分のことを人に話すのが好きではなくて、プライベートのことや悩みを周りにあまりシェアしてこなかった。相談すると、なんとなく負けた気分になって好きじゃなかったの。それに、話が膨らんで私の話ばかりしすぎたくないとか、重い話に付き合わせたくないっていう気持ちもあったし、プライドもあった。些細なことで悩んでいると思われるのが嫌だった。だから、誰かに話をする前に、自分の中で色々なことを終わらせる癖があったのかな。友達に限らず、家族にも、私が何を考えているのか、改めて伝えることはほとんどなかった。

 

I’m not really the type of person who likes to talk about myself to others. I never really shared my personal issues with anyone because I somehow felt a sense of defeat when I did. I also was worried that people would be bothered if I talked about myself too much and that I would be forcing them into a heavy conversation. I had too much pride to let people know that I didn’t actually have it all figured out or know what I was doing with my life. I didn't want people to think that I let little things bother me, so I always kept everything inside of me and had the habit of trying to resolve things on my own. I didn’t just keep my feelings from my friends; I hardly talked about these things with my family either.

 

 

自己完結してしまうことについて深く考えたことはなくて、むしろ「自分のことは自分で考える!」って正しいことをしているつもりだったんだよね。でも、「もしかしてそれって私が人とのコミュケーションを放棄しているだけなのかも?」とふと思った。

 

Though I hadn't really thought about my habit of dealing with issues all by myself, I was pretty sure that I was doing the right thing by being independent. But I came to the point where I started to wonder if I was avoiding communication with people.

 

最近、家族とうまくいっていない時が2〜3ヶ月あって、23年間生きてきた中で1番悩んでた。

お互いの思うようにコミュニケーションが取れない状況が続いたことが原因だったと思う。親と喧嘩することはたまにあるけど、すぐ仲直りすることがほとんど。ここまで長い喧嘩は初めてで、私にとってはただの小さな喧嘩ではなくなっていたし、毎日が憂鬱ですごく悩んでた。一人で抱え込むには大きくなりすぎて、友達や親戚にその時の状況や私の気持ちを自然と話すようになった。

 

Recently, I went through a two to three month period where I wasn't getting along with my family. It was the most nerve-wracking experience in my entire 23 years of existence. I think it happened because we weren’t able to communicate the way we were supposed to. I do fight with my parents sometimes but they are mostly small fights and we make up after a day or two. So this one was the longest fight I have ever had. I was so upset every day and it wasn't just a small fight for me anymore. I was suffering from bearing the emotional weight which just got bigger and bigger, and naturally, I started talking to my friends and relatives about my situation.

 

 

友達と原宿のアメリカンダイナーで夜ご飯を食べた時の話。

親との喧嘩もまだ進行中だったり、他にも嫌なことが重なって「もう無理!」ってなった日の夜、友達に連絡をしたら一緒に夜ご飯を食べてくれることになった。普段なら落ち込むことがあっても、誰かといるときはそれをなるべく出さないようにしているけど、この日は感情のまま動いていた自分を受け入れられてたな。友達が親身になって聞いてくれて、家族に直接言えていなかったことや、自分で処理しきれなかった思いや言葉が次々に出てきた。泣き出した私を、友達はそこに座って何も言わず、ただ受け入れてくれてた。勢いで頼みすぎた料理を前にして、私たちのテーブルだけ超張り詰めた空気。奥の席では、花火付きの誕生日プレートが出てきてハッピーバースデーが歌われてた。私は友達の前でそうやって泣いたり取り乱すことが今まで一度もなかったから、「やばい!こんなはずじゃなかった!」と焦ったけど、友達は私が話すまで待ってくれて、真剣に聞いてくれて、アドバイスもくれた。そうしてくれるのは分かっていたけど、すごく心強かった。自分の弱さを見せるっていう行動は、私にとって物凄く勇気がいることだったから、「話しても大丈夫なんだ」って思えたことがすごく大きな気づきだった。その日のことは今ではもう笑い話だけど。(笑)

 

It was at an American diner in Harajuku, where I spoke with my friend. 

I was still fighting with my parents and was dealing with other bad things that happened one after another. I reached the point where I just couldn't take it any longer. I texted my friend and we had dinner together. Usually, I don't want to be a negative person around my friends. So even if I have a bad day, I would usually act like nothing is wrong. But at that moment, it was somehow easy to just show how I was feeling. I was able to tell my friend all that I had not been able to tell my family, including why I was so upset. She listened to me carefully and I let my feelings and thoughts out. I started crying but my friend was right there for me. In front of all the food we ordered, we sat in silence at our table. In the back, we could hear people singing “happy birthday” with a birthday cake with fireworks. I never cried like that in front of my friends before so I found myself feeling a little embarrassed for acting so emotional at first. But my friend just sat there as if she was accepting and taking everything in. (Or she may not have known what to do lol.) She was so supportive and let me do all of the talking, gave me her undivided attention, and gave me some advice. Even though I knew she would be there for me, I felt safe and secure. It was always hard for me to be vulnerable with people and show my weakness. This experience got me thinking, and I started to feel like, "maybe it's okay to talk." Looking back now, it’s a story that I can laugh at.

 

 

誰かに話すことで得たのは、安心感だけじゃなかった。今回私にとって、自分の弱みや悩みを話すっていうことは、不必要なプライドを捨てることにも繋がったし、そのプライドを捨てることは、他人を理解したいという思いにもなった。周りが理解してくれることで、私もみんなが辛い時に助けになれるように相手のことを知る努力をしたいと思えるようになって、今後周りの人にどう接していきたいかすごく考えるきっかけになったよ。「話さない=お互いのコミュニケーションが取れてない」っていう、一見すごくシンプルなことが私はあまり分かっていなかった。他人は自分のことを変えられないし、自分が誰かを変えてあげることもできないと思っていたから、相談すること自体が無意味だと思っていた。そう思っている人、私以外にもいないかな?

だけど、今回の「話す」「聞いてもらう」っていう、私と友達との間のアクションが私の考え方と状況を見直すきっかけになった。解決策がはっきり出なくても、周りとの会話を深めることでまだまだたくさん気が付くこともあるし、自分と向き合うきっかけにもなる。その瞬間に大きな変化がなくても、そういうことの積み重ねが、結局1番いい選択ができる環境を作っていける方法なのかもと思った。

 

What I gained by talking to someone wasn't just that it made me feel safe and supported. It made me want to let go of my pride and understand people more. By having people around me who understand me and support me, it made me also want to be there for people and lend an ear to hear them out. It was an opportunity for me to think about how I want to treat people that I care about. I didn't realize that me not talking to people could result in a lack of communication altogether.  I know it sounds too obvious, but I wasn't really aware of the fact. I thought talking to people was pointless because other people can't change me and I can't change others. Has anyone else also thought the same way? 

But the action of “talking” and “listening” that went on between my friend and I, made me reassess the power of communication with people. Even if you don't find the solution at the moment, there's something you might realize for the first time through that conversation. It's also a good opportunity to come face-to-face with yourself. The conversation may or may not immediately bring a big change but the accumulation of it in the long run can lead you to build the best environment to make good decisions.

 

 

今まで、純粋な話し合いができない人たちとも出会ってきた。頑固さを捨てきれずに、自分が正しいって思っている・思いたいような人は、本心じゃなくても勢いで心ないことを言ってしまったりする。それってきっと自分を守るためだったり、その人が伝え方を知らないだけかもしれない。でもやっぱりそういう人の周りにいると、一方的に攻撃されているような気分になるし、私も負けたくないから攻撃的になってしまって負の連鎖になってた。そういう人がいることも知っているからこそ、私は聞くことも話すことも疎かにしないで相手を理解する努力をしたい。

 

There are also people who I cannot have open, honest conversations with. These are people who assert what they believe in is right, and only see things through their perspective. They may also say something senseless and inconsiderate even if they actually don't mean it. I personally think this happens because they feel the need to protect themselves by not accepting other people's opinions or they just don't know how to express what they think. Either way, I feel very attacked when I talk with people like this, and I also get defensive which just creates a bad cycle of negative energy. In order to avoid such situations, I want to keep trying to understand others by listening and talking with them. In order to do that, I should also be more open and shouldn't be afraid to talk.

 

 

私は、「話す」っていう選択肢ができるようになって、前ほど一人で抱え込み過ぎないようになった。自分の気持ちを素直に受け入れて、それを相手に伝えない限り、そこに明確な意思疎通はない。だから、話し合わないとすれ違いがあったり、相手を知らないところで傷つけていたりして、もっとお互いを理解し難くなると実感した。実際に今まで「この人私のこと全然理解してないな」と思う経験もしてきたけど、今思えば私がコミュニケーションを取る努力をしていなかったからだったと思う。相手に伝わるコミュニケーションを心掛けることって頭で分かっていても、実行するとなると難しいよね。でも、自分でそう気付けているなら、これから変えていきたいと強く思った。相談できる相手がいるのに相談しないで不必要に自分を追い込んでいたり、相手のことを分かったつもりになって自己中心的になっていたりすることも、積極的に少しのコミュニケーションを増やすだけで変わることもある。友達だから、家族だから、とかは関係なく、大切な人ならお互いに負担がなくなるようにコミュニケーションは取った方がいいよね。

 

Now that I am more comfortable to "talk," I don't keep everything to myself like I did before. There is no clear communication if I am not being true to my feelings when I speak. Without true and honest communication, people can easily misunderstand you or you could hurt someone without realizing it, which makes it harder for us to understand each other. This is something that I learned from my own experience when I was in situations that made me feel like, "They don't truly understand me at all." But now that I think of it, I was also the one who wasn't trying to communicate enough or express myself. I know that it's not that easy, at first, to always keep in mind to have "real" conversations but as long as you realize it and are aware of it, it’s something you can work on. If you push yourself too hard when you can’t open up to people who are around you, just make the effort to slowly increase your communication with people. As long as they are people who we care about, we should communicate to ease the burden off of each other. 

 

 

私がこの数ヶ月で強く思ったことは、どんなに仲がいい相手だとしても、些細なことでもありがとうやごめんねと伝えたいし、あなたのそういうところが好きだよっていうことも伝えたい。相手の気持ちを決めるのは、自分ではなくて相手だから、そういう小さなコミュニケーションが自分にとってできる最低限のことだと思った。家族ともちゃんと話したいと思うようになれたのも大きな変化。ただ漠然と怒るだけじゃなくて、何に対して私が嫌だと思ったのか、疑問に思ったのかを伝えるべきだったなと思った。家族とのゴタゴタがあってからの数ヶ月後、ふとした時に私が言いたかったことを言うことができたよ。そしたら「あぁ、そうだったんだ」って簡単に納得することができたし、ずっと持っていた怒りの代わりに、受け入れる余裕もできてた。

 

In the past few months, I felt strongly that it is important to express gratitude or say sorry even if they are people who are close to you, and even if they are for small things. I want to tell people what I like about them through words. In the end, you can't control how other people feel, you know. Then, the least we can do is try to communicate even when they are small things. 

This thought process has started to make me think about speaking with my family. Regarding the past quarrel, I felt that I should tell them what had hurt me and what specific issues I had. After a few months, I was finally able to speak to my family. My mom and I were in the kitchen and I told her how I've been thinking about what happened between us. And everything became clear and I no longer had anger but, in fact, more room in my heart for acceptance. 

 

 

自分の全てを話す必要はないけれど、全てをしまい込む必要もないなと思った。自分で答えを出せない時は誰かに意見を聞いたっていい。不安なことは、その不安を共有してみてもいい。それは恥ずかしいことじゃなくて、勇気がいることだから、できた時には自分を褒めよう。当たり前のことでも忘れがちになることはあるから、こうやって再確認して、こういう場で発信することには意味があると思って今回この記事を書いてみたよ。これを読んで思ったことや、みんなが人とコミュニケーションを取るときに難しいな、と思うことがあったら、ぜひコメントやDMで教えてね。

 

It’s not that you have to talk about everything about yourself, but also you don’t have to necessarily hide and keep everything inside. It’s okay to ask for advice for things you are unsure about. You can share what you feel insecure about. It's not something you should be ashamed of. Being outside of your comfort zone is actually something that requires a lot of courage. And that is something you can be proud about. It’s easy to forget simple things as we live our lives so I think sharing an experience like this on a platform like this means a lot in a way that I can remind myself, and others who have been through similar situations about the importance of communication. Let me know your thoughts on this article, and share what you find difficult when it comes to “communication” in the comments or through DMs. Thank you for reading!

 

Images by Lilico

Edited by Kiara and Hikari 

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