If God didn’t have anything better to do (and we’ll assume there, in fact, is a God, and we’ll freely suppose she is a woman) and came down to Earth to see what’s happening and what we’ve done with all we’ve been given, she’d be utterly confused with the state of things and the relationships we’ve built and destroyed.
It feels like the last ten years or so have brought about a communication demise so powerful that none of us can find our way out of it, despite being the ones to blame for creating it in the first place.
Memes have replaced live talking, short 10-second Instagram videos have replaced potentially long, thought-provoking discussions with a tendency to evolve into entire blog posts, texting has replaced actual physical contact with those we love (for the most part at least), and we’re barely making a conscious effort to communicate at all.
We still need to talk
Everyone’s different, sure; but, it feels like we’re all holding onto our differences, unwilling to compromise or let go. However, we still need to talk to each other, love each other, listen to each other. We still need to err and beg for forgiveness. Although there are various ways to tempt one’s imagination through various visual stimuli (Instagram posts, videos, and Facebook stories to name a few), we still long to verbally communicate what we feel, think and understand is happening.
But, what happens when all communication clashes and, no matter what we do, we don’t seem to be able to communicate our message across? We argue and yell, we let the frustration get the best of us. We fall disappointed, undervalued, humiliated and unappreciated as a result of failed communication methods.
Although, sometimes things can be just in our heads, not being able to communicate the problem will make the problem even bigger and stronger than it actually is. And, what happens next? We fall out. Out of love and friendships, out of attempts to make things work.
Did we forgot how to communicate?
Our overwhelming personal exposure on the web has decreased the importance of actual communication. When did it happen that we forgot to talk with one another and actually listen to the other person? Why have we become so ignorant and intolerant of other people’s words and feelings, to their opinions and attempts to be heard? We pride ourselves on evolving into such a mentally strong crowd that’s already living the future in its most intellectual glory while the reality resonates a totally different tune – one where we keep bumping communication uglies with almost no one doing anything to mend what’s broken.
It is a bit consoling though, that recent years have brought about the awareness of how damaged our communication is, globally. More and more experts, therapists, counselors, life coaches and advisors are being asked to help people bridge their communication troubles and teach them to, once again, just talk to each other and appreciate each other’s opinions. And it seems to be helping. We can’t be sure if results are long-term or short-term but those with the awareness that something’s wrong (the same who seek help) have an advantage over those who are oblivious to the fact that there is a problem in the way we communicate.
Another (advanced) step in helping mend communication barriers is getting familiar with neuro linguistic programming, that’s focusing on the link between our mind (predisposition) and acquired behavioral patterns (experience) and ways they can be reprogrammed to better our lives, and everything that comes with it (communication included).
Say you constantly feel verbally attacked by your friends, colleagues, superiors, inferiors, boyfriends, girlfriends, whoever. They keep humiliating you (or so you think) and you keep getting angry. Both sides fail to successfully communicate what they meant. The tension becomes unbearable. Your immediate reaction is to get defensive and blame them for treating you the way you do. But then, the same thing happens again, and again, and again. And you start noticing the pattern and understand your fault in the situation. So, you decide to seek help. That’s where neuro linguistic programming experts come into play – they teach you to reprogram your mindset from feeling attacked to adopting a different approach to things, one that will help better your inner world and your relationships.
We still long for each other’s acceptance, love and commitment
On the surface, things have changed and we’ve collectively adopted a more visual type of communicating; but, deep down, we’re all still humans with very similar communicative patterns, longing for a significant response from our fellow human. We still love to be in each other’s business and stay close – no matter how messy the whole thing is. And, if anything’s going to save us from being our own demise – it’s openness to therapy, counseling, re-programming of our consciousness and a more positive attitude towards other human beings. Do we dare take that risk? We dare.
Isabel is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty on Tap. To apply to become a Contributing Writer, please click here.