Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Communication 101

I've been struggling with what to write these last few days. I'm not exactly dry, without any ideas...I think there's too much, and too many things I can't write about here. My head and heart are swimming.

So, here's a thought I'll share, about something Scott and I are learning right now. I haven't written about it yet, because it seems so simple, and really kind of lame to admit that for some reason, it's new to us. But here is the big lesson: We cannot rely on others to do our communicating for us. We have to do it ourselves. Not a huge revelation, is it?

We have realized, over the last few holidays and in the planning of traveling to Georgia in June for the big wedding (yippee!), that we have been lax in how we communicate with family. For example, since we talk to Scott's mom often, (and so do his siblings) we have kind of counted on her to get our messages to the others. This is not a good idea, for many reasons that I'm sure you can figure out. Details get confused, motivations are misinterpreted, messages don't get delivered.....It's not like we've ever said to his mom, "will you tell so-and-so such-and-such?" It's more of a lazy assumption that she will.

We've gotten into the same pattern of communication with groups of friends, too. We just figure if we tell one couple our hopes about getting together, for example, or whatever, we figure the rest of the bunch will hear. This is not effective communication! It's especially surprising when you consider how many mediums there are for connecting with other people today. There's the land line phone, the cell phone, email, facebook, myspace, blogging for heaven's sake! And if I say I value relationships with people so much, what does my communication with them show? Actions speak louder than words, they say.

So, you would think this would be obvious, but it's somehow just dawning on us, and lately our mantra around here is, "we have to talk to each other, not through others."


Anonymous said...

Obviously I agree with you, and I am committed to communicating better with my siblings and others. I am also working on my annoying little habit of assuming that others know what I am thinking without me explicitly telling them. And I need to not assume that I know what they are thinking. This shouldn't be difficult, but somehow it is...


Anonymous said...

I guess all smart people like us have these troubles!