Communication is Key

friends on a raft

The following is being released at this time solely because I made a commitment to myself to publish a weekly blog every week of 2019.  My real goal for 2019 was to begin a successful family law practice.  In order to keep focussed though, I would need a smaller more attainable task.  "Each week if I can just write one blog post, everything else will fall into place."  This is something I really convinced myself of, and so here it is at almost midnight on Monday and I am keeping my commitment to myself.

I tend to write my blog each week over the span of a few days by simply reflecting on my week.  This last week I was finally so busy that I didn't have time to sit back and reflect on the things that had gone right and the things that had gone poorly.  So, instead this week you will get something random, something truer to me.  I hope you all enjoy, and if you don't, that's ok too.

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Now, I’m no wise old sage by any means, but I think most people will agree that between cell-phones, tablets, Facebook, and maybe just the internet in general, people are more isolated now than ever.  People who live in rural areas don’t need to go visit friends or family as often because they can just pick up the phone and Skype them; they can play video games with them over the internet; they can see updates on their day to day life on Facebook or Instagram.  While Skype or Facetime may still be a great way to communicate with long-distance friends or family, short, written, grammatically incorrect sentences are the preferred method of communication now.  Millennials and younger adults may be the worst offenders, but smartphones have become so prevalent that even my grandmother, who still can barely figure out how to use Facebook (sorry Grandma, it’s true), communicates through text now.   Just 10-15 years ago it was only the younger “kids” who were texting, and, even then, people still talked more often because Facebook wasn’t on everyone’s phone.

Facebook users by year
https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2014/feb/04/facebook-in-numbers-statistics

Ok, so what’s the point? These impersonal means of communication mean people are having a harder time communicating now.  Text messages can easily be interpreted wrongly, more so than phone conversations, which still is not the best way to communicate effectively.  In person communication allows people to communicate fully by not only words but tone of voice, facial expression, and body language. Now though, the bulk of communication is in text form, with fewer and fewer face to face interactions in our daily life.

The basis of every good relationship is honesty and good communication.  Whether you have a husband or wife, a girlfriend or boyfriend, a best friend, or even a long-term client, that relationship works best when both parties have an open dialogue and aren’t afraid to speak their mind.  People aren’t mind readers, and, no matter how close two people are, nobody can ever truly understand the consciousness of another person.  Our closest relationships are the ones we make take the time to spend face to face time with the other person.

Even with good communication, relationships still take work.  When only one person is working on a relationship, things can start to break down.  When someone finds themselves constantly making concessions for the sake of their relationship, it can become too burdensome to bear and causes resentment. Many times this can be resolved simply by communicating with your spouse or partner.  Again, people are not psychic. (Sorry if you believe in that sort of thing, and hey, maybe I just haven’t been blessed with the psychic gene so I don’t understand.) . Other times we just have to learn to appreciate our differences.

I personally have always felt that I will be myself, and, if someone else doesn’t like me for me, then too bad.  But if you want to have a healthy long-term relationship with anyone, you may have to make some concessions to keep that relationship going.  I'm allergic to dogs yet I still occasionally go to friends’ houses who have dogs because I want to spend time with them. I may have to use prescription nose spray and take an allergy pill and still can only be there for a few hours before my face starts to melt off and the sneezing fit begins.....but, I make the sacrifice because I care about that relationship.  And, it’s a two-way street.  My friends who have dogs usually go out of their way to do an extra deep cleaning when they know I’m coming over.  Of course neither of us have to make these sacrifices, but when you’re in any relationship and you truly care about the other person, you put your friend or spouse ahead of yourself occasionally.  I say occasionally, because I have learned that if one party is always the one making concessions, the relationship just isn’t sustainable, and that's ok too.

When you have something important to say it’s always best to communicate in person.  Good communication is the key to any lasting relationship.  Communicate honestly, communicate in person, and communicate often.  Nobody will ever truly understand exactly what you’re thinking, and it may take some work, but if you can communicate, you can maintain a healthy relationship.

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