Every single human being has a filter. They decide what to say and what is not reasonable to say.
How did you consciously choose your filter?
Who influenced your filter?
Do you have a great communicator that you modeled yourself after?
Did you just do what you saw growing up, or did you improve on that?
Having a functional filter does not mean that you are walking on eggshells.
You are simply being considerate. You’re choosing not to hold others in contempt, not blaming, not criticizing.
You recognize that everyone with whom you communicate does it differently.
Everyone adjusts their filter, when they want better communication. Effective communicators take responsibility for their part.
Many people use empathy and think before they speak.
Some don’t read the audience before they speak, others misread and others don’t care, which comes off as self-centered.
Good communicators look at their audience and how the audience will take what is said. They choose the right level of tact and directness based on what clues the situation gives them. This is called good communication.
Other people expect the audience to adjust to the speaker. That communication is problematic. “I should be able to say whatever I want to whom ever I want,” is an approach that consistently backfires, but only if the audience has boundaries.
You are criticizing the audience rather than taking responsibility and looking within.
Some people take responsibility by asking, “What was my role, my contribution to poor communication?”
You may say whatever you want but you are not free from the consequences of your behavior.
If you say something that hurts people, then say they are “too sensitive” or “I was just joking” or “great, now I have to walk on eggshells” or “I feel offended that you told me I hurt you,”- you are undeniably in the wrong. Those narcissistic traits are harmful to others.
Take responsibility for your words. If you want to blame, blame yourself for poor behavior. You can change.
I have witnessed people speaking before thinking it through and then blaming the listener for poor communication. Nope, that is on the speaker. It is your job to get the message across.
I have witnessed verbal abuse aimed at the listener and when the listener pushes back, the speaker tells the listener that the listener is too sensitive or they feel offended that the listener didn’t just accept the abuse. Nope, verbally abusive talkers are held responsible for their own behavior. That’s not on the listener.
I’ve witnessed people spewing their feelings, almost like sneezing on someone and then they excuse their behavior with, “I’m just expressing my emotions. What? Am I not allowed to have feelings?” Ooops- that sounds so disingenuous. You did not express feelings in a productive manner, you weaponized your words and hid behind feelings when you attacked the other person. At least that’s what it looked like from here.
If you really want to express your feelings, try, “I felt hurt when you said that I hurt you. Actually, I felt guilty. I wasn’t trying to hurt you. I think you are doing something that needs correcting and I can’t figure out how to tell you. I don’t want to keep it to myself any longer.”
Take away: Don’t confuse effective -communication with walking on eggshells.
“But I don’t like how she talks to me, either,” she said.
“I imagine that you don’t like it. It is possible that you don’t have many people left in your life that call you out when you communicate like that. What a gift that she stuck around. Sure, the truth can be inconvenient at times, but we all have someone that holds us accountable."