Want Better Communication? Try This!
By: Sarah Grace Powers – Confluence Daily is your daily news source for women in the know.
My boyfriend and I fell in love over text.
We’re in our 50s so this is not that common in my demographic. “How millennial of you!” my 25-year-old daughter commented.
The getting to know and love each other (via Whats App specifically) came about not because we met online, we didn’t. It was because once we did meet we only had about two days before he was taking off to his other home many hundreds of miles away. We knew we liked each other, and his plan was to be back in about three weeks… I just figured we’d take things up when he got back—or not.
To my surprise and delight I received a text from him before he even reached his other home. Hmm, this was promising! There then proceeded a wonderful multi-week exchange of deep discussion about ideas, favorite books, inspirations, aspirations and more… all via those little messenger bubbles. Punctuated of course with the occasional photo and mundane update on what one or the other was doing with their day.
He came back, and we went on to fall more deeply in love. Since his lifestyle involved dividing his time between the two places, the texting and messaging each other became quite a habit. It seemed a great idea, it kept us close and in touch—in communication you might say.
Until it backfired.
Relationships are a vehicle for growth. Misunderstandings arise, and affection and understanding can wax and wane … as ours inevitably began to do. And that’s when texting turned into our downfall.
Because—as we all know—this style of communication includes a huge drawback. No vocal inflections, no body language, no facial expression, and the tendency to drop the conversation before it’s run its course. Misunderstandings can abound! And in romantic relationships – or really any close relationship, these can be deadly.
One message sent in all innocence gets misinterpreted, and then responded to inappropriately. The recipient is offended and chooses not to respond at all. Things can spiral out of control pretty quick.
You might have experienced something similar with a loved one?
In my case that spiral looked like it was bringing us to the brink of a breakup, which felt just plain wrong to do via blue bubbles!
If you’re lucky enough to sort it all out in an old-fashioned conversation – in person on by phone – sometimes these situations can be an opportunity to gain more clarity and figure out ways to avoid such debacles in the future. But, this can take a lot of back and forth and can often involve some less-than-helpful finger pointing before resolution is reached.
Less Text, More Talk
This has led me to a new mantra – at least in regards to romantic relationships, particularly those that are long distance. Less text, more talk!
Let’s face it. Even for those in my age group, the convenience of texting has almost supplanted picking up the phone. Nowadays I make appointments with just about everyone to have a freaking phone call! It’s hard to believe that in less than a decade the humble telephone conversation seems headed for extinction.
I mean we do have a telephone app on our cell phones! It’s for, um, actual voice to voice conversation.
I like the written word, so texting or email often feel like a wonderful way to express myself. And yet—I now understand that I’ve got to view them not as a replacement, but simply an addition to face to face, or voice to voice interaction. The depth, the nuance, and the detail simply cannot be replaced by texting or even emailing.
If you are in a long distance romantic relationship, technology can be your friend by providing Jetson’s style video calling. Not only do you get a chance to hear the timbre of your beloved’s voice, you can gaze into their beautiful eyes and remember how much you love them… even if they are physically hundreds or thousands of miles away.
Now I know there can be other versions of texting (beginning with a ‘s’) that can certainly enhance a relationship. But that’s another subject entirely and one I’m not covering here.
My point here is to echo the old TV commercial that Ma Bell phone company used to run back in the day….Reach out and touch someone….
Grab your phone, but instead of tapping that texting app open up FaceTime, or Video Messenger, or just punch in a phone number, and give the gift of your time, your voice, perhaps your face.
This applies to anyone important in your life – not just your beloved. Your dear friend, your oldest friend, your parent, your child, your former neighbor, that person on Craigs List that you’re trying to sort out a good time to go look at their bookshelf for sale.
Don’t be afraid, just make the call!
Your relationships, your well-being, your communication skills, heck – even your health, will all benefit.
More by Sarah:
Sarah Grace Powers is a certified life coach and EFT Practitioner. She is a ‘dream resuscitator’, helping clients rediscover their passions and reinvent themselves no matter what their age or circumstance. In her previous career, she owned and operated an herb shop and has practiced holistic living for over three decades. Find her at sarahgracecoach.com
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