Communicating takes effort. As my amour said the other day, “Things were so much easier when I didn’t really have any people in my life!” Which is true.
She also quickly added: “But it’s so much better with friends and relationships!” Which is also true.
Despite this, humans still have a limited amount of energy. We have a tendency to take shortcuts and make assumptions. Sometimes, that can work out beautifully, and you seem to understand each other without flaw. But even then, I think it’s important to be able to expend the extra energy and overhead to do reflective listening and ask for clarification in order to make sure there aren’t any translation errors.
In fact, I’d say it’s even more important when it seems like you’re communicating flawlessly, for two reasons. First, when (yes, when) there’s a misunderstanding, it’ll seem somehow worse. Second, you won’t be looking for it, and it might go on for quite some time before it’s realized.
So while it’s necessary to expend the extra effort with someone with whom you don’t always communicate flawlessly, you still have to take the time to do reflective listening, even with people you think are on the same page.
And definitely don’t forget the Voice Rule!