Miss Communication

Sometimes, when all the stars align just so, my life goes from slightly amusing to a comedy of errors so ridiculous that I’m not even sure I’m in on the joke. The line between mis/communication is so fine that half the time I don’t know which side I’m on before it’s too late. This is never more apparent in the whole ‘human interaction’ thing than in the world of dating. Communicating is hard enough, and it can become a clusterfuck when you add a bunch of feels into the mix.

I have a way with words. Is that an arrogant statement? Possibly. Do I care? Nope. Writing has always been my safe space, my harbour in the storm, my security blanket (although in my case it wasn’t a blanket, it was a Rainbow Brite pillow, which I still have — and use — to this day). I return to it, time and time again when I’m all stuck up in the jumble of my brain and I need to figure things out. Writing helps me make sense of the world around me — and how I fit in to said world.

With that being said, I am not nearly as adept at vocalizing things as I am at putting pen to paper. It all sounds fine and dandy when I write it down, but when I go to say things aloud I stumble over my words and feel as awkward as a teenage boy with a surprise boner who has been called to the board.

When we say something, we know exactly what we mean. However, once it’s out there, it has to pass through other people’s filters, and it gets coloured with all of their experiences and baggage and things we couldn’t even begin to imagine in the three seconds it takes for the thought to form in our brains before it passes through our mouths. When we’re a step removed, via text or email or any of the other wonderful forms of electronic communication, it’s even easier for the waters to get muddied and the message to become muddled. My sarcasm is especially dangerous in this medium.

Thanks to the miracle that is modern communication, we can also read and re-read to our heart’s malcontent. We I end up in this overanalyzing circle, trying to interpret and re-interpret things said, things left unsaid, tone, context, and a dozen other variables. The truth is, we’re all just trying our damnedest not to fuck up while making sure we don’t get ourselves broken in the process. All of the analyzing and detective work comes from our own biases, and we can never truly experience things from someone else’s perspective. I just read this little gem in an article about PR, but it works just as well here: Communication isn’t what you say, it’s what the other person hears.


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