Sunday, April 18, 2010

Thoughts on Communication

This is much more than simply my major. I am learning how to better communicate in English AND Spanish while at Auburn. The practice is coming much easier than I could have anticipated. This past week has taught me the value of open and honest communication without competition and harboring past offenses. Now that was a loaded sentence. Let me explain...

It is so simple to assume everything is "fine" between yourself and a significant other (be it friend or roommate). It is also easy to deny any need for confrontation and solving relational conflict, easy to settle for the more deceptive veil of ignorance. This, my friends, is where miscommunication thrives; soon followed by misinterpretations and unnecessarily hurt feelings.

Sometimes I do not have the guts to confront someone or I wait for that perfect moment that never seems to come when I wait for it. Last week a friend noticed my agitation and asked me straight up what he had done to turn my emotions so cold! This not only put me on the spot, but required that I think long and hard about what was the core of my inner fury. There were good reasons too that were cleared up once out in the open.

I am learning to pick and choose my battles. If someone received joy from an activity that somewhat annoys me, I learn to let it go and get over being annoyed by a silly voice or unproductive past time of theirs. Living with people is full of growing pains. I wonder what marriage is like in this regard in particular?

A community group leader told me that if you're going to have to rip the bandage, you'd better rip it fast! In other words, if a conversation needs to happen, do not delay. The only reason to delay is if you are approaching them out of selfishness. Drop the offenses, forgive them, and learn to love the complexities about them before confrontation occurs. It should not be rushed either. I'm a proponent of note-writing; this jump started a much-needed conversation on the other person's terms.

Communication is much more than a major; it is a way of life. And learning how to communicate through conflicts and much more will serve us all better in the long run.

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