Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Communicating is a hard thing.

Communicating - really communicating - is not only the ability to speak words and have them heard, but be able to convey them in a way that expresses what you intend to say instead of what other people think you say.

I actually feel I'm quite poor at this verbally. That surprises me a bit - after all, I can be one of the wordiest people I know and talk on for long periods of time. At the same time, communication seems - and actually is - hard for me.

Writing is easier. I'm not quite sure why, whether it's the medium (not face to face) or the fact that I can more carefully construct my thoughts before they are sent out rather than have them immediately transferred to the real world.

Phone conversations are an interesting medium - which sort of convinces me that it's a presence issue. I have no problem discussing things on the phone with individuals whom I cannot manage to spit out the words to face to face.

Why? I'm not really sure. It's not as if people's reactions are different on the phone as opposed to face to face. Maybe it's the fact that people's reactions are visibly displayed immediately - and to someone who is so often dependent on the reactions of others, it's a small form of torture.

Also, the most communication face to face most often happens with those who are closest to us - those that have (intentionally or unintentionally) the greatest ability to hurt us. A reaction from your manager about an idea is one thing; a reaction from a loved one about a personal issue is something altogether different.

So here's my issue: how do I learn to communicate better, all the time? How do I learn to speak what I mean without tripping over my fear of reactions.

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