Communication is so important. I am drawn to think about it this week since I have been twice (that I know of) in situations where my communication was less than sufficient or completely missing, forgotten. In my world of “communication rain”, it was pouring!
And if I could just read people’s minds, and they could read mine, miscommunication would not be an issue. But I guess, or assume, and things go awry.
I forgot to invite a family member to a family gathering. And when I did contact them late, I neglected to find out if they knew where the gathering was. I neglected to exchange cell phone numbers in case plans changed. I spent half of the family picnic feeling worried about why they weren’t there and wondering if they had gotten lost. I couldn’t call them to find out. I felt the guilt. It was the hardest thing ever to pick up the phone later that evening and find out what had happened.
The very next day(!) a series of late decisions and wrong assumptions led to disappointing some friends and leaving them waiting at a restaurant for us to meet them for dinner. Mom was in on this one and her observation was that her aversion to talking on the phone often kept her from necessary communication. We could have just made a call, earlier than we did.
Realizing that I have caused someone inconvenience or emotional pain/upset is stressful for me. I don’t need more stress! And I don’t want friends, family, or anyone for that matter, to feel confused, unloved or unimportant. That is stressful for them. So, thought and prayer brought some things to mind. From now on I will tell myself:
Shirley, listen now,
1. If you are in doubt, pick up the phone and find out! People don’t have to answer if they are busy. They will know you cared and will call back when they can.
2. Let people know that you don’t mind being called. They might have that phobia or aversion to calling. I always feel cared for, not bothered.
3. Text, if they use texting enough to be familiar with it. Be sure to SEND the text after writing it. (Yes, that one is for me.)
4. Call sometimes when there isn’t a pressing reason. This is how to make sure you have the correct contact information, home phones and cell phones.
5. Realize that it’s hard to over communicate. Talk plans through if you make them in person, and agree to confirm later if needed.
6. Probably the most important thing, pray about any plans, that they would be under God’s direction. Even if things seem to be going wrong, if he’s in charge, he is working something out and he isn’t expecting you to worry about it.