Communicate, Please

Communication builds relationships. We all agree, right?

Without communication {of some sort}, it's doubtful that you'll feel much kinship or friendly bond with a person. That's simple.

Here's the hard part. People have communication preferences.


Some people love to talk on the phone. Some people {believe it or not} would rather communicate primarily with body language. "Read it in my eyes." "Can't you see my posture?" "Doesn't this frown give it away?" ;p Other people prefer to write.

And there are some people who can communicate once a year and be totally fine with it.

I think it has a lot to do with personality and love languages.

My love language is quality conversation. So it's really hard for me to maintain a relationship with anyone where there isn't much communication. Things seem superficial, shallow. I need to connect with you on a deep level, talk about things that really matter.

This can be extremely inconvenient. Most social situations don't lend themselves to intimate one-on-one conversations. When communication preferences differ and land separates, connections can dissolve.

I dated my husband long-distance for a number of months. We actually communicate better by e-mail, so that wasn't SO bad. But, you know, still bad. :) Things still break down between us if we don't text or e-mail regularly. The longer the silence, the harder to get back on track.

Ya hearin' me?

Add on to this the leaps and bounds of technology over the past ten years, giving us even more options for communication, but possibly causing us to communicate even less {think so?} -- we may be more confused than ever.
Should I call? Facebook? Text? E-mail? Write a letter {gasp} with a stamp on it?

What do they like best? What will annoy them the least?

I know I'm not the only one with preferences. We thought it might be helpful to create a spreadsheet -- listing our friends and their preferred method of communication. Cause you know some people will get right back to your e-mail, but forget all about the voice-mail you left. {guilty}

My Worst Ways to Communicate:
--On the phone. I get scared. Scared I'll disturb someone who forgot to turn their ringer off. Scared I'll say something wrong and confuse the listener who can't see my body language. Scared I'll start talking right when they do and neither of us will hear each other.
--Face to face. Yep. I worry my eye contact is confusing the listener. I fear that I'll say something that I didn't completely think through first. I'm sure my face looks funny when I talk. I get really nervous when there is silence and I don't know what to say.

My Best Ways to Communicate:
--E-mail. I have time to process my thoughts before sending them off. I can re-read, edit, analyze, confirm. I think best through my fingers.
--Blogging. All of the above PLUS the added advantage of knowing I have a {few} readers...that gives me extra motivation to do my best.
--Texting. Quick, easy, gets the message across without any superfluous salutations {when all you need to do is tell someone to meet you at 5pm}. Appeals to my efficiency gene.

In summary -- I want to communicate with important people, even if it means embracing a least favorite communication style. I hope that connection means enough to others that they would do the same.

Community Questions: How do you best communicate with others? Have you found ways to embrace technology, especially when communicating with the older generation?