Communicate like a dog

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“Communicate like a dog? You mean Bark?” No, not really but there are some wonderful things we can learn from our trusted furry friends.

Now if you are not an animal lover, dog person or slightly interested in what this blog may contain then I urge you to stop reading right now. Just wait for the next more relatable post!

Things we can learn from dogs include;

  • Pure Joy
  • Unconditional love and acceptance
  • Living in the moment

When dogs bark, they are saying “hey family there’s something new here, I’m warning you”. Dogs are so loyal to their human families; their intent is to help.

This is very similar when someone is communicating with you and they have a different communication style. They may be short and to the point, or waffly or a great listener but not really a talker, or lastly critical and removed. Either way, they are communicating to you in their way so don’t take it to heart.

Just like Dogs, each of you has usually has a good intent when you communicate. You intend to get your message across. However, you all assume subconsciously that everyone communicates like you do.

WRONG! Everyone communicates according to their needs not yours. So the business like short and to the point, results focused person, is not intending to be rude or aggressive they are just communicating according to their needs.

Similarly, the waffly, story telling, charismatic person may hog the conversation and make it all about them but they just want you to like them. The critical, cold, reserved, organised perfectionist, is not meaning to be rude when they correct your spelling or statistics that is just what they do and they hate to be wrong so they are helping you to be correct.

Now when our dog is barking incessantly I don’t get quite so cross with him as I see what his intent is “Family there’s something strange here, I am warning you so I can keep you safe.” He has barked so much more in recent times as he has aged and lost both his eye sight and hearing. I am sure there is much he anxiously warns us about.

So how do you cope with this potential for misunderstanding? Understand your own style first, then you are more able to see why you do what you do. Then you can understand others. If this is interesting to you, you may like to read in my book “The Enlightened Communicator.”  

If you would like to understand more about the different styles keep reading this blog as it is our intent to make communicating and connecting with each other easier.

As for our four legged friends they can teach us so much. They are always pleased to see you, I cannot say the same is always true for my family L It does depend on what the last conversation was like (ie did I say “No” to my kids or forget something important to someone?)

A wonderful day for them is lying in the sun, or chasing their tail, or chewing on a stick. Our puppy will ask to go out through the night and I stand there half asleep, wanting to crawl back into bed while she runs and jumps through the grass chasing moths and insects in the wee hours. Once I stopped whining about the fact it was 3am, it is pure joy to watch her have fun.

Dogs practice unconditional love and acceptance. I believe most of us could benefit from this premise. Many people struggle to love and accept their loved ones. Humans seem hard-wired to want to change and improve each other. It would make life so much easier if we just allowed others to be them and we focused on changing ourselves instead.

Lastly, living in the moment. This is such a stress free and liberating way to be. This incorporates the new mindfulness ideas if you have heard about them recently. Living in the now releases you from stress, anxiety and depression. The ‘now” is the only place we truly have any control over our behaviours and ourselves.

I trust our four legged friends have been able to encourage you to look at things a little differently. If you can do this it will make such a positive difference to your relationships.

Until next time, Care, Connect and be a Courageous Communicator.  Let’s change the world we live in one conversation at a time.

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