One of the keys to effective communication is intelligibility.
What is intelligibility?
Simply put, how intelligible you are to others – how easy it is for others to make sense of you.
A lot of people isolate themselves because they feel they can’t express themselves without revealing themselves to be weird, nasty or judgmental. Instead of being who they are, they pretend to be someone else, or simply hold back, refusing to engage authentically with others.
This is a shame, because when people know how weird, nasty and judgmental you are, they’ll like you a lot more – especially if they can make sense of why you’re that way.
If you say, ‘Don’t do it like that, do it like this’ all the time, you’re likely to upset people. But if you say, ‘I’m really sorry, I’m a bit of a control freak. What can I say, I grew up in a home that was constantly on the brink of chaos, and it’s left an indelible mark on me?’ and then you say, ‘Don’t do it like that, do it like this’ all the time, people get it. Your control freakery has become intelligible to them, and they’re willing to cut you some slack. (They still may not like it, and hopefully you’ll change over time, but at least they feel they’re in a relationship with a real person.)
So if you find yourself alienated from others, either because you’re pretending to be someone you’re not or you’re simply not engaging socially, figure out what’s going on, and then communicate that to others.
You’ll be surprised at how receptive people are to the real you, once you make yourself intelligible.