As drivers, it's our responsibility to clearly indicate our intentions to the drivers around us. If I'm making a lane change, I need to use my turn signals in enough time to allow other drivers to prepare. I need to make sure that my brake and reverse lights work. The law requires us to even use hand signals if our turn signals don't work!
Why all of these rules and regulations? Because driving is dangerous and it's vital that everyone on the road clearly communicate their intentions! If you don't clearly communicate what you're doing and an accident occurs, you may be held responsible for the damage.
The same is true in our communication with the people around us!
So often when communicating with people we end up being like the guy who doesn't use his blinkers, hits another car and then says, "But I thought he saw me!" Or perhaps he would say, "But he should have known that I was changing lanes. It's only obvious! COME ON MAN!!"
It's our responsibility to make sure that the thought we want to communicate is the thought that is being communicated. It isn't the responsibility of those around you to read your mind, or see what you intended to say, as opposed to what you actually said. This means that we need to learn, observe and be respectful of the different ways that people communicate, so that we can speak each other's language.
How can I know how to communicate clearly with the people in my life?
The first way is to observe what people say and do. The people around you telegraph what they need from you~you just need to observe, without judging and without trying to change to control people! (I know, that's difficult at times!) Some people are more extroverted, others introverted. Others communicate VERY directly, while others communicate so indirectly it's hard to know what they're trying to tell you! Be a good student of people and watch and observe.
Second~it's always a good idea to ask someone how they prefer to communicate. Would they rather an email instead of a live conversation? Do they want you to ask them if you're free before jumping into a story? Is there someone who could really use encouraging words in person, instead of an "impersonal" email?
Then once you have a better idea of how the people around you are "wired" you can take the steps you need to use the right "turn signals" at the right time with them.
Make it easy for people, and it will be easier for you too!