Communication is so important, but what is it really? Your version and mine are probably not the same.
Communication is sharing ideas, so there are many ways to communicate. Some people prefer images or graphics. Some people need touch or use hand gestures when they share. There are people who can talk and just skim the surface and be satisfied while others would rather go deep and get lost in the chatter.
Communication is a dance; it’s a song; it’s a way of expressing oneself so others can know one’s thoughts and feelings or ideas the one wants to convey.
Communication doesn’t have to involve words; it can be something as simple as a gentle hand on a shoulder to let the other know “I got you.”
I have had the best, most enjoyable conversation sitting with someone, neither of us saying a word, just listening to the silence. So much left unspoken that was felt by us both.
On the other hand, I have spent hours and hours talking with someone about subjects so vast and varied, that we both lost track of time. Day turned to night leaving us both energized and hungry for more. Yet, I have talked to someone for five minutes and felt as if my life has been drained of all energy and meaning.
I have had friends share a song with me, and what the lyrics and melody communicate is everything my friend couldn’t say but needed to get out. I heard what they couldn’t express; I felt their emotions as my own.
People communicate with their posture and body language. They fidget when they are anxious or nervous. Their shoulders slump when feeling depressed or rejected. You can feel anger, disappointment, happiness and sadness as it radiates from others if you tune into the vibes they are emitting.
A smile communicates feelings just as strong as a scowl. One is more friendly and relaxed than the other; one more approachable. Tone of voice, both written and spoken, convey more than just what words express in a flat, monotone or on a black and white page.
We need to learn and understand that not everyone communicates in the same way. We need to accept that some people can only hear what they have been taught to hear and can only communicate on the level they are comfortable.
I communicate differently with different people based on what their style is. Some I can talk to about anything and never run out of things to say, never have a pause in conversation and others I struggle to find anything at all to talk about because their level of understanding doesn’t run as deep.
I think that the hardest things for people to talk about are real feelings. Something personal is usually more guarded, more protected, and it is those conversations that we really need to have more often. We need to be able to communicate how we feel without fear of retaliation, fear of being ostracized, fear of being judged. Some people have more difficulty communicating their feelings, they’d rather talk of the weather than anything of meaning.
Listen to what is not being said. It’s what comes in the pauses between the words that contains the most important message for us.