When do we talk?

When do we talk?

In kink we hear a metric fuckton about communication. In fact, at an event this past weekend, it was mentioned in every single presentation I wen to. Including my own.

What we rarely talk about is when NOT to talk, or how do we know when it is RIGHT to talk, versus poor timing.

And today, I’d like to just throw a few ideas out there for consideration.

  1. I tend to sit with my discomfort for a while if it’s something new. I want to be sure I understand it and myself, so that when I communicate I am doing so in the best way possible. To do this, I:

A. Feel the feeling
B. Label the emotion(s) I assign to that feeling
C. Determine whether I need to share the feeling—is this something someone else actually needs to know?)
D. Figure out how to communicate the feeling

  1. I prefer to wait until I feel like I can talk about whatever calmly and with compassion.
  2. I prefer to wait until I have “the words” I need. If I can’t explain something to myself clearly, I don’t try to make others understand it.
  3. I try to know before I speak whether I want to simply be heard and acknowledged, or whether we will need a conversation and discussion, to get feedback from both parties.
  4. If I am going to ask for a discussion, I try to plan ahead and make sure both of us have that time.
  5. If I am going to ask for a specific outcome, I wait until I feel like my communication of what I want is clear.
  6. I do my best to avoid highly-charged times or busy times, when I can. No need to bring up something negative right before a date night, or in the middle of work meetings.
  7. I often ask for consent before heavier conversations, to make sure that my communications partner is ready. Sometimes I’ll give several days’ notice, so they can think on a topic and form their thoughts or ideas.

Caveat: None of these things hold true if there is potential harm that may come from not speaking

Also, if I am in the middle of a conversation, I can’t always be as clear as might like, while I’m thinking and speaking on the fly. Although sometimes I may ask for a break, to cool down, to think things through, to get on with life, whatever.

What are your thoughts?

How do you know when it’s right to speak? If it’s right to speak? Do you even care, or do you believe that all potential communication is worth communicating?

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