Part 2: Communication: when and how?
(This post is the second part of a series on communication written by an amazing friend and contributing writer for the Millennial Christian Woman blog. If you haven’t read Part One of Esther’s series, you can find it HERE! -Rachel)
We all have different ways of communicating. Some people love to elaborate on things; others love to use as little words as possible. Some people love to go over their day with their friends, while others love to not talk about the details of their life. We are unique and therefore all have a different way of communicating. Whether we love the abundance of words, see words as a way of expressing art, or as a bare necessity, we all must learn to communicate in a way that is blessing our relationships and accurately presenting our heart.
Today I want to especially zoom in on communication through social media. In that, I believe finding out what works for you, what style and when you communicate is going to be super helpful. Back in the day, people used to call each other. How we long for these days again, right? Well, probably some of you don’t. But I personally do! Calling instead of texting is a very personal way to communicate, I believe. Of course meeting in person is always better! *wink* Your voice cannot hide behind emoticons and you do not have to try to read between the lines that sometimes cause misunderstanding. That is why when people want to have ‘long conversations over text or Facebook messenger I am not very eager to share my heart. Of course, that is also dependent on the context – sometimes that is the only possible way to communicate at the moment. But to call people, you need to be brave and give yourself a bit more than you would in a text. You won’t be able to hide as much. Some people argue that they don’t always have time to call, but don’t realize texting back and forth with different people a day is pretty time consuming as well and keeps your mind busy! While, if you’d just call about something, you can get way faster to the core of things.
So that was a little rabbit trail, but I love to make you think on communication and see what truly works for you and the people around you. Do you often text? Facebook messenger? Find out what works best for you. What about sending a quick text to set up a time you could call? Do you do most things through email or whatsapp? Make sure people know what you prefer to use and how they can best reach you. Letting people know these things up front will greatly improve your relationships. How do your friends communicate and what do they prefer? These are things to think about.
Because we have so many highways of communication: our personal email, work email, facebook messenger, texts, whatsapp, instagram/twitter/snapchat direct messages, and other outlets, I want to encourage you to give yourself a break. Maybe even right now while you’re reading this. Are you overwhelmed by the demand? Do you feel the need to check every outlet constantly? Does it really work for you to be constantly ‘available’, all the time, everywhere? If so, are you thriving? If it does not effect you negatively, wonderful! But if you are someone that would like to admit that being available in all of these different ways is overwhelming, I’d love you to review the benefits and disadvantages of these communication highways.
I know a beautiful lady and her schedule is quite busy. She told me she screens her emails on their subject and based on that she knows whether something is urgent or not. Those, which are urgent, she will reply to immediately. Every Sunday evening she has her “reply to emails night” and goes through the ones of lesser urgency. This allows her to give her mind structure (and peace) in knowing when she has time to reply. She is governing her way of communication and when to communicate. She is not overwhelmed by the demand and responds instead of reacts to people communicating to her. People know they won’t have to wait longer than a week and actually receive a beautiful, heartfelt reply.
That is an example involving email, but the same goes for any other way of communication. Knowing for yourself how to live in peace and not in passivity or living out of demand is key. It gives structure to your life, that you will find very life giving. It may take a little discipline and evaluation, but you are worth it.
I am aware that not all of us simply do not way to reply to texts, or do not want to commit, but rather we are simply overwhelmed at times. We’ve probably forgotten we actually get to choose our way of communication. We do not only do ourselves a huge favor, but are blessing those around us majorly, because we will be present in the moment as we engage with the person in front of us, whether over text, on the phone, or in person. Our heart will be felt in the communication we are intentional about. Isn’t that why we are communicating in the end? So that we would truly know people and they would know us, right?
You are a powerful communicator!
Esther (Guest writer for the Millennial Christian Woman blog)