Communicating

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(Scenes from hiking in Tennessee) 

 I have been told that I communicate like a man.

I am type-A and very direct. My thinking is ordered, linear, and logical. I say what I mean and I mean what I say. I don’t experience the world emotions first, but logically and analytically; after I have thoroughly thought something out, then I will decide how I feel about it.

I am also very introverted, so only about 5-10% of what I think will actually be communicated. I don’t usually waste that communication on emotional expression, as I see very little value in emotional responses and they tend to affect my actions less, perhaps, than others.

It seems to me that I blog about my feelings quite often, yet I have been amused to hear more than once that my blog posts are anything but touchy-feely and emotional.

I like these aspects of myself. I enjoy life. I enjoy the way my mind works. I enjoy being able to clearly communicate what I am thinking.

The thing is, not everyone is like me.
There are plenty of people who experience life emotions first.
There are plenty of people who find my directness harsh and unfeeling.
There are also plenty of people who are apparently unsure if I like them, because I tend to keep to myself how I feel, and thus withhold from them what I like and appreciate about them.

I cannot predict how others will emotionally respond to me. Emotions are changeable and unpredictable by nature. However, I can work to consider the emotional impact of my words – both said and unsaid. I can make an effort to communicate about the nice things I think about people. I can be patient with people who communicate differently than I do and can take those difference into account when I speak. I can soften and be gentler with what I say without changing the meaning or the integrity of my words.

There are a lot of different people out there with many different communication styles. I’m thankful for those differences because those people capture a different essence of the human experience than I do.

What do you think your communication style is? Do you work to change how you communicate in order to better communicate with others?

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