Communication is beautiful when we are expressing ourselves, being understood, comforting someone, and being comforted. We all know that it takes more than one person to communicate, but I have observed that instead of really listening to the person who is speaking to us, sometimes we can be solely focused on being heard. This can cause misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and mistrust.
While it is important that we have great relationships and get the things we want, need, and desire out of our relationships, more often than not, we speak the “language of hint” which can cause us to miss out on what is important to us. In order to come to a complete understanding of what the other person is saying, we first need to understand the language of hint so that we can avoid it and be clear and effective in our communications.
Breaking Down the Language of Hint
In an effort to understand ourselves, our motives, and our actions better, here are a few of the possible reasons why we speak the language of hint:
- We want to be surprised because the surprise makes us feel good.
- Our own self esteem may come into play and we are unsure if we deserve what we are asking for, so we hint.
- We may not want to feel reliant on what we are asking for, but if we hint, we can pretend it doesn’t matter whether we receive it or not.
- We have an issue with being able to receive, or don’t want to feel indebted, so receiving a gift is easier than asking for a gift.
The language of hint is both ineffectual and unhealthy. It is ineffectual because it is not clear and generally does not get us to our end goal. It is unhealthy because we can easily become upset when the person that we have hinted our wants to doesn’t provide exactly what we wanted.
Another reason that the language of hint is not effective or healthy is because we put all of the ownership of what we want onto the person we are speaking to with heavy expectation of a desired result. Sadly, upset feelings occur when the result does not materialize. Then we blame the person we are speaking to for not understanding us. Next, negative thoughts such as “they weren’t listening,” “they don’t love me,” and, “I’m not important” begin to stir within us.
It becomes the other person’s fault for not understanding our hint instead of us taking ownership for our communication because we didn’t convey what we wanted clearly and concisely. The truth of the matter is that because it is our want, need, or desire, we should take ownership and admit that we did not communicate effectively or give the other person the opportunity to understand what we wanted.
Instead, we selfishly use the language of hint by putting the ownership of the failed expectation on them and insist that they should have been able to understand our hints. Despite the fact that most people use it, the language of hint is not a method of communication that most people understand.
Yes, we want people to know us deeply, intimately, and happily. But if we don’t speak clearly, we are not giving others the opportunity to know us with any level of depth, and our relationships can suffer.