Communication. What does it mean to you? Believe it or not, that word does not mean the same thing to everyone. To some, it may mean talking. To others, it may be letter writing. Some may see it as a more physical thing involving eye contact, touch, hugging, etc. It can be tricky to get to know someone if you don’t know what they consider communication.
What ever it may be to you, can we all agree that communication is key? My late husband communicated by talking. He talked about everything. He talked until I fell asleep, and then kept on talking. When he needed to work something out, whether with me or in his own mind, he talked. I listened. I wasn’t much into the talking. There were several reasons for this, but the biggest would be that he was much better at the details than I was. I might say something on a whim of a passing emotion and he would expect me to be able to back it up with three references and complete APA formatted citations. That’s just not how I rolled back then.
Because of being with a talker for so long, that is what I find comfortable now. If you want to get my attention, you need to talk. I cannot seem to find comfort in a silent partner. Sure, there are times when I get tired of hearing someone else talk and I jump in. I do that more now than I ever did before. I have found my voice and I use it regularly. But, if I talk and feel the silence sucking in my words, I feel like they are pointlessly flowing into that place with the missing socks. My words mean nothing after a while.
It can be exhausting to entertain someone with talking. I remember Brad begging me to talk, to add to the conversation more. I can understand why now. I try harder to be that other person, to fill the void, the silence, the empty space.
I just finished a class on language and cultural in the classroom. It was very interesting to learn a little bit about the differences in communicating across different cultures. In Asia, the more a person talks, the less important their words become to those hearing them. In other cultures, if you are silent, you are automatically in agreement with what is being said. In others, silence shows animosity towards the speaker. What do we do in such a diverse world?
All we can do is be ourselves I guess. If you are a talker, keep on talking, but take a breath now and then and listen. If you are a listener, man up and put some words out there. If you are a writer, look around a bit more. And if you are a reader, leave me a stinking comment! Cause I said so.
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