Thursday, November 7, 2013

85% of Communication is. . .

"Dr. Mike, would you consider counseling my friend over the phone?"  Knowing my pastor was a wise therapist, I sought his help for someone who lived far away.

"No, I'm sorry, Kathy. It doesn't work on the phone. 85% of communication is body language."

He's right.  As I've thought on that aspect of communication I realize how relationships are built.  Nothing replaces time with one you love. Whether family or friend, the real connections are best face to face.

Texting or emailing, while quick and easy, can relay information but does little to strengthen bonds. In fact I know of great damage done when one dashes off written words to vent, complain or give a differing opinion. Without facial expressions, tone of voice or body language, written words can sound angry, sarcastic and be easily misunderstood. They're also permanent!

Our children live in different states and even countries, so we use whatever means we can to stay in touch.  Sometimes the best we can do is talk on the phone (at least tone of voice is heard there) or watch the grands open birthday gifts on Face Time.  

It's a slippery slope in today's world of staying in touch.  If it mostly becomes facebook or texting, I fear we lose real personal relationships.  Sure, it takes more time and effort. If speed trumps everything, we can easily disconnect from those we cherish.

When I was truly hurting, friends and family reached out to me in all these ways.  The one I treasure most is the one who came to me, hugged me and wiped away my tears.

Real love takes real time with real people.  Don't buy into the throw-away-quick-easy lifestyle and toss people into that discarded mix.

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