A Lesson In Communicating (Or Lack Thereof)

Besides being the dominant form of human communication (be it written or oral) – words are power. As a blogger, poet and fiction writer, words have been my best friend (and when I’m really pissed, my ultimate weapon) since I could talk. By the way, I talked at 9 months so you can imagine I’ve had a lot of time to practice.

It’s interesting, though, that despite humans using their ‘words’ since they could figure out how to…people don’t often communicate very well. There are a lot of misunderstandings, misinterpretations and general clusterfucks of people not understanding what others are trying to say. Or, what seems quite cut and dried/to the point/obvious – is over analyzed to death by the other person and the ‘true meaning’ is completely lost out to sea.

In hindsight, there have been plenty of times where my communication skills have sucked. Sometimes no matter how hard you try, you simply can’t express yourself well. We’ve all been there.

How does one solve this? How do we ‘know’ that our message was received/deciphered/understood? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve S-P-E-L-L-E-D things out to the point where I didn’t think it would be possible to be more concise, but somehow my words were misconstrued.

A good example: Last weekend, I was spending some time with ‘that boy I really like’. Well, my sister texts me. Now… I’m busy with that ‘boy I really like’ but I’m polite and I don’t want to ignore her. I tell her –   I’m busy (insert his name here) is over.

My wonderful sister immediately thinks I’m saying the budding relationship with ‘that boy’ is OVER and proceeds to threaten to HEX him if he’s hurt me. Well…this brings up another, and closely related, subject of punctuation… as in ‘Commas’…but you get the idea.

The boy and I are definitely NOT over. But he was…standing in my kitchen as he was ‘over’ at my place.

It’s an easy thing to do. Thankfully, I quickly corrected her and tried to send her on her way. Thus, the hexing was (although narrowly) avoided. This didn’t end, however, because I stepped out of my typical sister-communication box and called her: “hon”.

Setting off a whole new set of alarms for my darling little sis, she now is concerned that maybe ‘that boy’, or God knows who else, has borrowed my phone and she’s no longer texting her own flesh and blood, but a stranger.


The next text was: This doesn’t sound like you… What’s my middle name?

Now ‘the boy I like’ and I (still standing in my kitchen) are laughing! He wants me to text her a middle name that isn’t hers. I didn’t – thinking I’d much rather pay attention to him than carry on all night with my sister.

So, I called her. It seemed the right thing to do considering my frustration at trying to tell my suspicious-hexing, baby sis, that I was BUSY.

We chuckled…there was an awkward moment when I asked ‘the boy I like’ to say hello and the call was quickly ended.

And all because I forgot a comma.

See? It’s easy to miss-communicate.

Words have power. They can hurt (and possibly hex) and heal. They can create and tear down. They can bring joy and pain. They can make us laugh…and cry.

We achieve nothing if we can’t communicate, properly, with each other.



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