I was having a conversation with hanane, and I was explaining to her a direction for a project. after repeating multiple times, I over-reacted and said: ‘but you don’t understand!’
and that’s when I realized that this instantly made her a lot more insecure about her non-understanding. and a lot more likely to beat herself up and understand even less. so I took a moment of silence and thought to myself: ‘maybe it’s not hanane that’s not getting it. maybe I’m taking the wrong approach for hanane in explaining things.’ then I spoke:
‘I’m sorry, I reacted. let me explain it this way…’ this instantly removed the blame away from hanane, and 2 minutes later we were both heading down the same direction.
sometimes we make assumptions about where the other person is, and this makes us feel that we’re talking into a wall, and that nothing is getting through. and more likely than not, it’s usually us who are not putting things into context before explaining. it usually has nothing to do with the other persons’ comprehension.
when you hear yourself saying: ‘but you don’t understand!’ that’s your queue. stop. think. say: ‘let me explain it this way’ then put things in the right context for the other person, and then get your idea across.
update: for greater insights, and how to handle some specific situations, please read the comments.
p.s. closely related and soon: how you always sabotage your conversation with this one habit AND how do you put things into context