It is of the utmost importance that we be aware of how and what we communicate to people.

Whether we are talking about indirect forms, direct talk or body language, communication can make a tremendous difference in how we feel, and as such how we are directing our lives.

We are currently living in a society positively obsessed with communication. The amazing thing about that, though, is how impersonal and thoughtless this idea has become.

I know that historically this argument has been made before. ‘Why get together when we can pick up the phone and chat?’ has become ‘why call when we can e mail and text?’ But even that is not entirely what I am talking about.

In addition to a major lack of accountability societally, we have ceased to have real, honest communications. We have talking heads, we have people spouting slogans and propaganda and telling outright lies rather than communicating. We have become reliant on text and e mail and utterly impersonal modes of communication because they are convenient, but they are cold and one dimensional.

I believe that this takes matters even further in that we have become ok with half-assed communications. We find it easy to send that text or tap out that e mail and neglect that they only convey words. Communication is not just words, it is body language and emotion, which while a good writer can convey this in mere words, still lacks overall.

People whom we see ‘in power’ are beginning to communicate in the same manner as the texts and e mails. Have you ever heard so many people convey so many pointless and meaningless platitudes with so little sincerity and such obvious disdain? I believe this is because what looked great to them on paper is garbage when they attempt real communications.

Regular people like you and me enjoy modern conveniences. You are reading this on a computer or a tablet or even a phone, and I can certainly spin my words to convey my emotions, but this is still indirect and one-dimensional. If we were holding a conversation you’d see my body language, and hear and possibly feel my emotions.

I am not discarding e mails and texts as forms of communication. They really are extremely helpful and very useful. The point I am getting at here is that we need to do better at remembering what communicating with each other can entail.

Are you having a bad day? Am I having a bad day? Are you angry? Am I upset? Are you having a good day? Am I happy? Do we communicate about how we are feeling and what we are thinking directly, or do we beat about the bush? This is the important part of communication that is most neglected.

I can send a text message that says simple, ‘hi’. Now if, after an hour, I get no response, I can do one of several things. I can presume, huh, maybe you’re busy. I can guess that you may be in a situation where you are unable to respond to my text, or you are not with your phone, or what-have-you. No harm, no foul.

However, sometimes we start to see worst case scenarios. Maybe you are doing something I would not want to know about, so you are ignoring me. Maybe you are displeased with me, thus not responding. Maybe you are hurt, or lost, or something is wrong.

Have you done this? I know that I have. We humans, though some of us try pretty hard to deny this, are emotional creatures. We also have imaginations, and sometimes they run wild. Because the impersonal one-dimensional communication didn’t elicit a response, suddenly we have an issue which you are completely unaware of because that issue is wholly in my mind.

Our society is not overly fond of asking questions. All you have to do is to look at the so-called people of faith whom you cannot question lest they will do nothing but shout you down. Questions are not welcome, because seeking truth and having discussion is unwelcome against blind faith and arrogant contradiction.

We as individuals, however, can choose to buck this trend. We can and should ask questions. I am not talking about big questions, I am talking about simple ones. How do I feel? Why do I feel like I am feeling? How do YOU feel? What can I do to help you?

We have different levels of communications, and we need to learn to better employ them when it comes to how we choose to live our lives. Texts and e mails are great, but lack emotional context. Verbal communications over the phone convey thoughts and ideas and emotions, but not body language. Skype and actual personal interaction can give us the full experience, and convey the most direct and meaningful communications.

No matter what forms our communications take, we need to presume less and ask more. Assumptions lack in anything but speculation. Ask questions and you will have answers to give you understanding. This applies not just with communications between people, but even with ourselves.

In Pathwalking, as you choose your own way in this world, you have to communicate with yourself. When you do better at communicating with yourself, your ability to communicate with others improves too. Do you make assumptions about your own feelings, your own thoughts and your own actions? Granted, sometimes that may be true, but when you realize that you likely work to correct it. So why make assumptions about the feelings, thoughts and actions of others?

It is of the utmost importance that we be aware of how and what we communicate not just to other people, but to ourselves. If we have better communications, I think we can have more productive, better and happier lives overall.

How do you communicate with yourself and others?

 

This is the one-hundred ninety eighth entry in my series. These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my personal desire to make a difference in this world along the way. Feel free to re-blog and share.  Thank you for joining me.

The first year of Pathwalking, including some expanded ideas, is available in print and for your Kindle.