People are quick to judge, quick to laugh (with you or at you), and quick to form impressions from the bits you say. In relationships, one of the greatest challenges is developing a way to communicate that is both respectful and understood by both partners.
A local Chicago play, In Love’s Bright Coils, is about studying the expressions of love throughout the past 300 years, and the changes in communication. Local Chicago writer, John B. Reinhart, wrote a review on the study-turned-play, saying, “We’ve become a society of inane “on-the-go” updaters, spilling our most intimate secrets in a clumsy, 140- characters-or-less-type abbreviation to a world wide audience who doesn’t really even care. So, it begs the question. How has the advent of digital social networking, such as Facebook, Twitter, and text messaging, watered down our means of communicating our true feelings on love…or anything else for that matter?”
Is it true that we can share more on the Internet than we can while spending one-on-one time with our significant other? Do we find it easier to communicate with strangers about our daily worries, darkest fears, and unattractive thoughts, among many other things?
I think the main reason is simply because, for the most part, the Internet doesn’t care. The Internet isn’t going to jump up, with its fists blazing, ready to defend the OTHER side.
It’s so much easier to communicate with something, or even someone, who doesn’t hold your heart, and seemingly, your worth, in the palm of their hand. Maybe all we can do is remain open toward our significant other. Allow them to have their moments where they don’t totally understand, because, after all, there’s no rulebook on love and communication. Sure, there’s plenty of advice columns, books, articles, but who really has the answer? No one. (Not even me!)
Words. They are such simple things, really. Though, sometimes, choosing the right words can be tricky, and letting the wrong ones slip can easily lead you to a place that is more complicated than merging in Chicago traffic. Suddenly, as grownups, words don’t seem as simple as they used to be.
It may be time to take a good look at your relationship and make sure the things you share on the Internet don’t encompass everything (or more) then what you share privately with your significant other. Hold up that metaphorical microscope and study your relationship for a bit. Examine the points of struggle regarding your communication and try to figure out ways to better understand your partner, and to be understood by your partner.
It’s been said that practice makes perfect. If you and your partner are both willing to put forth the effort, time and time again, to remain open with one another and accept the simple fact that, perhaps unfortunately, you aren’t “mind-clones”, and disagreements and differences in opinion will happen, but you can work through them. You can certainly agree to disagree, but you’ve learned something just by listening to the others views. Unlike what Billy’s teacher in “Billy Madison” said, you will never become dumber just by listening to another persons opinions or thoughts. Express yourself, and even more importantly, encourage the people around you to do the same.
It seems to me that the “Yes” people of this world are somewhat of a bore. You are blessed if you have someone who can stand up for themselves and what they think. Life isn’t a race that you can win, and there’s no finish line to prove to over-achievers that they’ve arrived first. Life is about changing and growing, and, to sound totally cliché, life’s all about the journey. If you ever get to the point where you feel as if you have nothing left to learn from the people in your life, then you are surrounding yourself with the wrong people. Likewise, if you ever get to the point where you feel as though you hold no need for improvement, growth, and change, well then I half admire you, and half pity you, for you are either a master at this thing called Life or the ultimate failure- I’m just not sure which one.