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FB Status – It’s Complicated

Pamela Jett 12-17

I confess.  I spend time on Facebook.  I have found it a great place to connect with old friends.  In fact, just yesterday I connected with a college friend who now plays Big Mike on Chuck.  I’ve connected with friends from elementary school, old roommates, and even a few relatives I didn’t really know about!  I also love that Facebook allows me to see what my friends and colleagues are up to and to offer support and encouragement.  It’s great fun to look at photos, old and new (what’s up with the 80″s hairstyles???) and to see pictures of kids and spouses.

One thing that always makes me smile is the “relationship status”.  One of the options is “it’s complicated” and I was thinking the other day that all the status options ought to have “it’s complicated”. I’m single and I know that “it’s complicated.”  Married people will attest –  “it’s complicated.”  In fact, all relationships, both personal and professional, are complicated.

The way we manage, maintain, and build our relationships is through communication.  Communication is really the “stuff” that relationships are made of.  Not only what we say, but what we do, how we spend our time, the people we associate with,  it all communicates something.  And frankly, communication isn’t always easy.  We say things we regret, we don’t phrase things right and others get offended, we say too much, we say too little, we say the right thing, but at the wrong time, we misunderstand one another – bottom line –  It’s complicated.

Why are relationships and communication so complicated?  Well, the answer is… you guessed it… it’s complicated!  However, one simple tool to help manage that complication is to remember that past experiences shape our perceptions of current experiences.  So, since everyone has had a different life history, the world really is a different place to different people.

Remembering that we all see the world differently doesn’t make communication easy, but it can help us to be more patient when miscommunication occurs.  It can aid us in choosing our words wisely because we know that people attach their own unique meaning to words and we want to take their experience (their reality) into account.  This knowledge can help us communicate more effectively because we understand where the other person is coming from, or at least that they are coming from a place somewhat different than we are.

Relationships and communication – it’s complicated.  By acknowledging that it’s complicated, we are better able to use communication, our most important tool, to build stronger and more meaningful relationships with friends, family, colleagues and management.


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