This month has been special. For a month dedicated to sharing about unconditional love, it has truly been a trying one for me.
I find it interesting that sometimes the advise we give to others are just laid out for us to critically review and receive for ourselves.Tweet
I am of the opinion that the five love languages are not exhaustive and I personally believe that every person appreciates each of the five love languages to a certain extent- I am open to dialoging on this. Most people will agree that communication is a central part of any type of relationship. Yet, effective communication does not make it on the list of love languages. From the most superficial to the deepest relationships I have witnessed, communication seems to be the main determinant of sustenance or durability. Try following an abusive thread on twitter; by observing someone’s communication style, it is hard not to quantify an amount of respect or trust! There are certain accounts you just know for sure you will not follow- and these are sometimes people you barely know.
Also, no one really educates you about the communication of non-communication; the ‘silence treatment’. Wikipedia defines this as the refusal to communicate verbally or electronically with someone who is willing to communicate. Wiki suggests that this may be a passive-aggressive behavior in the form of emotional abuse, which may be used to communicate disapproval, displeasure or contempt (1). Clinically, it has been identified as a form of manipulative punishment (2).
For someone as expressive and blunt as myself, I have often wondered and I still wonder till date, what positive motif one could have when offering the silence treatment and here, I am not referring to situations where you need to cut communications with a stalker or an abusive person. Here, I am referring to people you meet in your life every other day or maybe everyday as acquantainces or friends. I am also referring to the simplest form of non-communication like ‘hey, I will get back to you- which we all know will never happen’ to literally ghosting (a modern dating term that makes me wonder why I was born into this generation).
Why is effective communication important?
- It shows how much you value yourself and your time; You’d be surprised how your actions speak more about you than the person you intend to affect.
- It could potentially reflect on your time-management skills and your priorities; I never use the excuse “I was busy or I am busy” not because I do not have a number of things on my plate, but because everybody is technically busy. Choosing to relax for 1 hour technically makes someone busy, as this is an intentional commitment to oneself to rest. Even not choosing to do something is a choice to do nothing(which is something I would personally struggle with). But my point is, communicating and developing the attitude of responding to people truthfully goes a long way to harness relationships positively.
- It shows one’s level of maturity; Saying ‘no’ is something you learn. I believe that phase in life is a direct reflection of one’s competing priorities. Having no competing priorities implies not exposing oneself to the diversity around himself/herself (hopefully, that diversity even exists and is perceived. I believe it is never too late to create one and we can delve into why diversity is important if y’all want to discuss it).
- You build a reputation of trust and respect; I cannot tell you how many times I have admired and gained so much respect for people who have been able to stand their ground to say ‘NO’; 1. No, I am sorry, I really would have loved to but I can not. 2. No, I have prior engagements 3. No, I am sorry if you misread my actions, etc..
This is the beauty of communication- it establishes intent. Have you ever wanted closure for anything that happened abruptly in your life? The power of closure should not be underestimated and do not deprive others of it
- The “silent treatment”. Its incidence and impact. Paper presented at the sixty-ninth Annual Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL. Ferguson, M., and .. 1997
- Kipling D. Williams Wendelyn J. Shore Jon E. Grahe. The silent treatment: Perceptions of its behaviors and associated feelings – Group Processes Intergroup Relations October 1998 vol. 1 no. 2 117–141