Have you ever sent someone a message that was of significance only to see that they had read it and made the decision to not respond? Or adversely do you know someone who views the message without actually opening it to make you think that they haven’t seen it, letting hours go by before they finally remember “oh yeah, they asked what I wanted for dinner”? This is why I do not keep my read receipts on whatsoever because it invites a lack of urgency in communication by giving someone that option to pretend they cared or to blatantly ignore something of importance.*
*This isn’t always the case, trust me I of all people understand being busy, but bear with me
In my experience I have noticed that relationships fail, or do not bloom, almost always due to a lack of healthy communication. It is not simply the act of not responding, but not responding with the importance of the other person in mind. When we are tired or frustrated it is easy for us to talk to a friend or a loved one or even a stranger like they are beneath us or not worth our patience and time. To set a scenario you have had a long couple of days, you’re feeling frustrated with the world and all of it’s complaints and you come home to something that really gets under your skin. Your roommate did not mean to do whatever it is that they did, but nonetheless there you are agitated and ready to take it out on them. They walk in the room and all you can muster is a passive aggressive sigh or stomp to your bedroom, leaving them confused and hurt by your lack of communication. Back the scenario up and say that instead of saying nothing you offer another passive aggressive response, but you say “yeah, your day wasn’t as hard as mine” and roll your eyes as they try to tell you about how they tripped in front of a thousand people. There is a lack of communication here and no solution to the problem. You do not like what your roommate did, and odds are that you will not like it when they do it again, but because there was no communication it is bound to be set into a cycle creating a hostile environment.
Another way that we as a culture do not communicate well is when somethingbothers us and we do not say anything, but get sassy anyways, we help to maintain that hostile environment. If something bothers you, do not be afraid to say it. People appreciate honesty more than a snide remark.
A crucial point to communication is that when someone wants to have a tense conversation it does not mean that they want to argue. When we shut down because we “just don’t want to deal with it” or “just don’t want to argue” it means that we do not want to give any importance or significance to what someone else is feeling or has to say. When we shut them down we are saying, “Your feelings are irrelevant to me.”
When we do not communicate well we invite a lack of consistency, which in turn invites a lack of respect. This is the end of relationships. This is what tears us apart from one another.
So how do we overcome this fracture in the color bar? We begin to live, and love, with intention. When something bothers us we speak up and say something, not leaving our friend in the dark as to our frustrations. You cannot fix what has not been brought to light. We remember that if we want a friend we have to be a friend. If someone makes it obvious to you that they want to talk, or that they are hurting, give them the time of day. When it is all said and done you will have lost nothing but will have gained the respect of someone who needed you in that moment (PS that’s how you get people to like you, be the person who gives them the time of day or takes the time to save the day.)
There are 1,440 minutes in a day and it takes you all but 20 of those to keep up a relationship. Don’t be that guy.