Posted by: syncopated1 | April 2, 2011

Chapter 6: Did You Miss the Memo?

Seeing as a I am about to write a bit on communication, I’ll take this time to say, or remind if I have already said this, that what I write is purely self expression. That is to say, that I have not the experience, nor the time to have pondered these topics to the point of universal truth. These are all things that I do on most days that help me keep the right frame of mind. Some of these, like this chapter, are things that never occur to me until I am thinking about things I do to stay happy. Not everything I write in these posts will be right for everyone. They are simply ideas. Having said that, I also know that I will continue to pontificate at times and very liberally apply general, “you’s” and universal, “we’s.” This is because I am self centered and, like everyone else, I firmly believe that what I do and say and think is right; I don’t know why everyone else doesn’t do as I. It happens. Take what you will from these writings and understand that I cannot speak for or to everyone…even if at times I do a good job of pretending I can.

Clear Channels of Communication FTW!

Chapter 6: Did You Miss the Memo?

And now that everyone who reads this chapter will have gotten the memo, I will jump right into it. One of the things I have recently realized I do is communicate very clearly whenever I can. Open and clear channels of communication ensure that everyone involved has the same information, and the same opportunity to respond to it, and or deal with said information. Two things that I really, really dislike are: having people confused about who I am, what I do and what I say I am and do and having to repeat myself due to miscommunication.

I recently had a wonderful phone conversation with a new friend of mine and through this chat we were able to neatly sidestep a fair amount of miscommunication; which I was largely unconcerned about, but she seemed to think it was building into a disaster of epic proportions. Regardless of your perspective on any interpersonal communication, I feel taking time to clarify things is always the best route to go. I took the time to explain that I do my level best to be 100% honest on the subject of myself. For a couple of reasons: first it helps me pay attention to my own strengths and weaknesses, but also it highlights those points for whoever I am communicating with. I know that when I am done speaking on any subject listeners have a fair idea of how much, or how little (if I say nothing at all then its because I don’t know jack about it), I know about the topic. I know that when I shut my mouth and walk away, everyone involved knows what I am capable of and what I am not, in relevance to the conversation. This helps me put other people in the same perspective of me that I am; that is to say, if I am very clearly about what I tell other people they have more of a tendency to think of me the way I think of myself. For example (and these are really silly examples), if my friends are looking for more people to play board games or pick up basketball they’ll call me. If they are looking for more people for a debate on politics and social change, well, lets just say my phone won’t exactly be ringing off the hook.

Allowing everyone to share the same perception of yourself that you do fosters an environment of situations of hanging out with people you like doing things you like (not that you shouldn’t try new things or do things you don’t from time to time, but that’s a different topic). When you do things you like, you’re mood is better making you happier, and chances are if you like doing whatever it is then you’re probably somewhat good at it, which makes you look good in front of your friends. And that is always a healthy ego boost. Set your self up for success. For me that starts with solid and clear communications.

The other side of communication is how it helps you handle tough situations. I’m very fond of saying, “I can deal with anything I know about. Not necessarily quickly, or even ably, but if I know about it; one way or another I can deal with it. If I don’t know about it, you’re shit out of luck.” This may seem pretty obvious to most people, and perhaps should have been really obvious to me, but I didn’t really recognize this point until the last two years or so.

I have a really hard time dealing with passive-aggressive people. Not that there is something fundamentally wrong with these folks, they and I just don’t mesh because I am rather proactive in dealing with other people, drama, and life in general. And as I get older I am becoming more and more so. But I have learned the hard way that passive aggressive people are characterized by keeping things to themselves, holding on to it for a long time, and kinda expecting all the rest of us to be mind readers. Essentially they don’t communicate. At all. This is why it’s hard for me to deal with. And I don’t know about the rest of you folks, but when I can’t deal with something, anything really, and I’m getting no help in figuring out why I become increasingly more frustrated and angry and sour. I get very sour when I can’t deal (doesn’t happen very often). Not very happy at all.

I can’t control other people, I certainly can’t make all the passive aggressive people of the world not passive-aggressive anymore (believe if I could do that I would have already), and I certainly can’t expect perfect communication habits with every single person I meet. But what I can do is clear my conscience and ensure that there is good communication coming from me. So I do. I answer any question asked of me, completely and as honestly as I can; and I try not to hold anything back. And why not? I’m not an international super spy carrying state secrets what will start World War 3 in my head, I’m just a young boat builder who loves being pleased with life. I think most of us will find that we have far less to hide, feel private about than we think we do.

Go forth and be clear about who you are, what you are, what you do and say! Leave no room for confusion! I feel you’ll find yourself happier, and I know you’re friends will definitely appreciate the clarity from you. I know my friend does, and that makes me happy.


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