It’s not always easy to communicate. We all experience times when it’s hard to speak, or hard to understand others. Here are some times when the young people we spoke to said it was harder:
Speaking to authority figures
A lot of people say that speaking to teachers or to important people is difficult. We get nervous about speaking and saying the wrong thing. They often have a strong presence, and we feel intimidated. Everyone gets this feeling, but if you have difficulty communicating, it can be even harder.
People we don’t know
If we meet someone we don’t know, it can be more difficult to communicate. We don’t know them, so we feel slightly nervous. When we are nervous, it’s harder to communicate.
When it’s loud
When it is noisy, it’s hard to hear what is happening. It is hard to concentrate on what someone is saying if there is a lot of noise.
When there are a lot of people
When there are a lot of people talking in a group, it’s hard to follow the conversation. Sometimes two people speak at the same time, and it’s hard to listen to both of them. Also in groups a lot of people feel more nervous about speaking.
Over the phone
It is difficult to talk over the phone because you can’t see the other person. When we are face to face, we can see when they smile or use gestures. These help us understand what they mean. If you can’t see them you don’t get these clues, so it can be easy to misunderstand what they mean.
Sometimes other people are hard to understand. If they speak quickly, quietly or use long words, it can be hard to understand what they are saying. Some people have strong accents and it can be hard to understand what they are saying until you get used to their accent.
If you experience any of these, here are some tips which may help you.