Giving an acknowledgement is the first step to communicating with yourself and directly communicating to others. It is an idea, problem, or praise that needs to be brought to the surface purely to let others know it has been recognized by you. Acknowledgement is often ignored because of the uncomfortable feeling it brings, even when it’s an acknowledgement of praise. Many times people leave messages unspoken in hopes it will blow over or the assumption the person who committed the good deed already knows they are appreciated. Although this is a simple idea, we tend to go about life not wanting to rock the boat even though this is a sure way to strengthen your relationships and make you a better communicator.
However, this cannot happen without awareness. Awareness is how much you can see yourself and understand your actions within an environment or given circumstance. Being aware isn’t as easy as it sounds because it takes a lot of practice allowing yourself to be objective. Not only do you have to understand yourself but you have to be open enough to understand the people you connect with.
Objectivity is a very difficult practice. When we get confronted with tough situations we immediately turn to our defense. In other words when someone makes a negative acknowledgment, like, “I’ve noticed you tend to make plans and then flake,” we start constructing arguments as to why the unaccepted behavior should be seen as acceptable. Instead of understanding why someone would confront you about this topic and admitting fault we build ourselves up and hope others will take our argument as truth even if this means lying by omission. “I don’t know why they would say I flake all the time. The plans I make are open ended, a lot of people don’t show. I send a text if I can’t make it. Sometimes, I work long hours and I’m tired!” (Knowing you’ve flaked because you’ve made other plans and you’ve actually only texted once). Take a moment to understand the person who has brought this negative acknowledgment to your attention wants resolution; not to call off a friendship.
When you practice awareness you have to remember a few things.
1. Always assume people have good intentions.
2. Don't create stories in your mind about what the other person is thinking. The truth is, you don't know. Making false accusations will heighten the tension.
3. Make the acknowledgement directly. I can’t stress direct communication enough. If not directly communicated it turns into gossip.
4. Give more positive acknowledgements. The negative ones won’t seem as much if you do this regularly. It’s a very open way to show gratitude and will be much appreciated by the people who receive them.
The cutest shopkeeper in Korea.