Use Your Words

I am not at all good at playing the messenger. Not for people who are perfectly capable of speaking to each other, and definitely want to so badly. But that’s one of the many countless interesting situations I found myself in this week, when a friend called me to speak for a couple hours well about someone to whom their hearts yearn.

Now I’m not trying to be mean or make out someone’s scene or anything like that, but…

…this is what talking looks like….

And I say this with the utmost care for the two people involved. The first person wants the second person to call them or talk to them, but doesn’t want to do that themselves, and the second person wants to call the first person but doesn’t think that they would want to talk to them…it’s just a big mess. And it could simply be avoided if each of them both left their pride at home and took their courage off the shelf and went to each other and used their words.

One of the major factors towards the success of human civilization, some historians say, is communication. Our ability to send efficient messages to groups of people and across distances was how we engaged in trade, forged alliances, formed bands and tribes, established kingdoms, and formed relationships that created families and lineages and dynasties. It all came from our ability to talk. And I argue that our ability to communicate to each other very intricate things is how we can be said to have survived and evolved as this species they call homo sapiens. Cavemen didn’t have a great many words (or probably any words at all, in the conventional sense), so they used every single one that they had at their disposal to make sure that people got the message (or hit whoever wasn’t listening with a club and dragged them away).

Now we can’t club people. Assault is against the law. But we’ve got a lot more words, and we’ve gotten better at using them. So why not..use them? It’s a sure-fire way of getting the information that you want from someone, give them the information that you think they want or need to hear from you, get feedback about what each other thinks and feels and come to some sort of decision about all those thoughts and feelings. It can’t happen any other way. Even if someone could guess what you’re thinking or feeling, someone would still have to share some words.

I think that when two people want to speak to each other and want to hear what each other has to say, it would be silly to wait until the other one picks up the courage to speak. Say something yourself. And if there’s something that’s burning you to say to someone who probably really doesn’t know, then you might as well tell him and cut all the suspense out of the thing… When people say communication is key, they’re not bullshitting you. Once you know who you want to speak to and what you want to tell them, just do the damn thing.

Or at least pay me to send a message for you…

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