Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Wordless Tuesday

I've been thinking a lot today about how people communicate. Okay, fine - I think about it a lot, in general.

So much of what we say to each other, we don't say at all. It's remarkable, really. There's a huge amount of nonverbal cues that go back and forth in even the smallest, most casual exchange. There are these things called meta-messages, right? They're about context. They're what we're really saying, or what we're hearing others say. Note, though - the meta-message that's sent and the one that's received are often not the same. And then you factor in pheromonal signals and other subconscious cues, and it's amazing that we ever communicate anything correctly.

I was thinking about this today after a conversation this morning with a friend of mine. He reminds me a lot of an ex I have, who always seemed to speak in metaphor. He'd tell me stories about his house, his work, his family, which would always be code for how he was feeling and what he was thinking about me, himself, us. It was a lot of effort for me to decipher that, but validating and satisfying when I did, which is part of what kept me there. I was always on my toes with him, which, let's face it, wasn't always where I wanted or needed to be.

My friend at work is much the same way (which is, let's face it, why our friendship is a little complicated). The difference, here, though, is that I've evolved a bit, and I spend less time worrying about if I got it right with him and more time looking at what's going on. I spend more time thinking about what I'm telling him. I pay a lot of attention to this stuff, and I still think I only have a minute inkling of what's actually transpiring.

It really is a miracle we ever communicate anything, ever.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Communication is an art that most people don't realize. From a baby to an old person---the idea is open mouth and words come out without thinking what those words are or mean. It's like either speaking in a rote fashion or open mouth and put foot in it. This I think is the norm for most people.

However the art of communication is a skill which has to be learned or experienced. Personalities enter into this equation as well as understanding the "words" and what message they are trying to convey to each other.

Communication also includes basic understanding of relationships and how important they become and then assessed as far as the importance of maintaining that relationship or friendship.

Basically it also means: give and take------a two-way street in life---a willingness to be unselfish with one's self and oh my it does get complicated. And not everyone can express their true feelings with communication skills. Then it becomes action speaks louder than words.

But I don't think everyone would be willing to work out the "details" as you mentioned an ex. By the way keeping on "your toes" is not necessarily a bad thing. Keeps all skills honed like a sharp knife.

Think twice with friend at work, listen too---and remember we cannot change each other completely.

Many years of "combating" the other half in this house.
Enjoy Carol