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A Moment to Think~ Before speaking

In the age of the internet, a person needs to hold a degree in Interpretation Of Communication Skills….
One needs to remember to communicate with tact, compassion, and respect.
Part One: “What you communicate.”
Over the past few months it has brought front to face, head of the line again and again in my life.
The power of our words.
And the acts of with which little thought that we often throw them around.
After much thought and introspection, I wanted to reflect a little on how we communicate today. Much of our interaction with others occurs in Cyberspace. We write emails, send text messages, write blogs, comment on others actions in the forum spaces of FaceBook, Twitter, Flickr, and the like. Hence, the majority of these interactions occurs in typeface, and emoticons.
This is where your personal degree in Interpretation Of Communication Skills come in to action.
How often do you really have no idea what the Author of such comments is really trying to convey ~ without the useful clues of voice inflection, facial expressions, body language, etc?
And how often do you think you misinterpret a statement as a result?
And what is really thought provoking to me – is how often to we proceed with the assumption of our interpretation of said Comment? Have we read it in a negative way? And assumed hurtfulness from someone? Or have we over-read something to be much more than it is? Have we seen flirting where there is just kindness? Have we felt slighted or insulted when none was intended? Felt attacked? Belittled?
…. And probably…. we have moved forward, with the assumption of the meaning… as best as we have done to assume the meaning… without clarification… and maybe, we are completely wrong in it.
So, how well did you do in that university getting that degree in Interpretation Of Communication Skills? School of life….
Too bad it isn’t that simple. We must throw into the mix the personality of each person making the comments – in order to interpret them.
Complicated, right? Really complicated….
Because a lot of the time, these days, you haven’t got the benefit of knowing these people in your day to day life. They’re cyber- friends.
So that’s where my thoughts are. It’s so easy to make assumptions on a written piece of text…. but yet, as easily as we have come to doing this 1000’s of times a day; we make assumptions each and every time, divining for ourselves what the writer truly meant. With oh so little information. And isn’t it interesting we have found a comfort zone in this?
Part Two: Respect
My second direction of introspection is in our daily interaction with others via Cyberspace.
It feels like the way we communicate today, is very relaxed, and informal. And in a sense I think we often “say” things without much thought. Without Respect. Such as it is – I like to apply this rule to it: “Would you say , if you were looking in someone’s eyes, and speaking it to their face? “
And that’s what I mean by respect.
Sometimes we think nothing of a comment left. Or brush it off.
But had that person, or anyone; said the same thing to your face – well, I often think the impact is much more thoughtless, hurtful, disrespecting, insulting, etc. Without having said it to their face though, you miss the reaction, the response of their hurt feelings, the look on a person’s face that lets you know you maybe inadvertently just broke their heart with your careless words.
Having said that, I personally think it still has the same effect when we read it. It maybe just isn’t slightly as…much in your face. It still comes with a sting.
Part Three: Introspections
So here are my thoughts on these two topics, different, but definitely intertwined, and related.
1. Never assume. Never assume someone is insulting you. Or assume what they meant. If you are in any doubt about what someone has “said” – seek clarification. it is SOoooOOOooo easy to have gotten your interpretation wrong. So ask.
2. Think about what you “say” to people. What you write. Consider how your words may be interpreted – which may not be at all how you have intended them.
3. Think just a small moment before you hit “send”. Have you acted with respectfulness? Would you say it to someone’s face?
4. Attempt to be clear with your communications, because the Receiver doesn’t have the benefit of seeing your eyes, and your smile, and your playfulness. For example. (or your hurt feelings, or anger, etc.)
5. If you feel uneasy about something said – talk to the author. Find out what they meant. And let them know how it has impacted you.
Everyone has room to improve upon their communication skills, as well as the acts of thoughtfulness and respect.
It keeps kicking my pats, and I keep thinking I am trying hard 😉

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