I think there is something that has been lost in our communication. We take for granted the speed with which we can communicate and we’ve watered down the meaning behind what we do. We expect people to understand us with minimum communication and veiled inuendo. I recently came across a meme trying to encourage people toward growth. It said, “Instead of a long paragraph, just say ‘OK’ and move on.” I don’t agree with that because that isn’t communication. That’s cutting people off. You have more depth to what you’re feeling than two letters. Speak what you’re actually feeling. THAT is communication. In a society that moves faster than our thoughts sometimes, we aren’t patient enough to wait for people to really get to the point. Sometimes it takes a while to even understand what we are trying to say and if we are struggling with that, it will certainly take time for people to understand.
Now to be fair, communication is contingent on the other person understanding so if what you’re saying is falling on deaf ears, then by all means, cut your losses and move on especially if it isn’t a relationship you’re interested in maintaining. But if this is someone important to you, then you need to help them understand. We are a throw away culture, including with each other, and we need to remember the value in our relationships.
So, getting back to the point of communication and cheapening your thoughts with “OK”, I want to talk about what it does to you when you don’t speak what is really on your mind. Again, if this is someone who is determined to misunderstand or who simply isn’t capable, then yes, make the choice to save yourself. But when you have something to say and you choose to stifle it and choke it down, you’re repressing the emotion behind it. There are always appropriate times to share those emotions so if you’re not able to articulate it in the moment then let that person know you need some time to digest what they’ve brought to you. Then you can piece together what you really mean instead of ending the conversation. We need to remember how to have the conversation.