Between abbreviated texts, emoticons, monosyllabic grunts, and facial expressions, we communicate a great deal without so much as stating a complete thought. Today, May 31st is Speak in Complete Sentences Day. Besides conjuring up images of my eighth grade teacher diagramming sentences on the chalkboard at sonic speed, this holiday got me thinking about how much time we take to fully express ourselves.
Smart phones have made it easy to keep in touch, via texting and word-recognition software, but can get us in trouble when it comes to “tone.” When’s the last time you paused at someone’s choice of ‘Really???’ versus ‘Really?’ Things like irony, punch lines and subtle teasing can get lost in transmission. And in the end it comes back to a phone call or a quick visit to check in and lend clarity.
What’s something you’ve been meaning to say? What conversation have you been meaning to have? Isn’t it time you got around to it? Not putting anyone on the spot, I too have a long-overdue heart-to-heart I’ve been throwing on the back burner. And, actually, in writing this I am encouraged. Deep down I know the calm and resolution that come from expressing myself far outweigh all the angst and confusion of remaining silent.
A friend of mine said something simple the other day. It was one of those statements so obvious as to be greeted with...“DUH.” And yet it’s amazing how truth can be so plain that we miss the point altogether. Anyway, he said, “you should say what you have to say and then you get what you get.” I think the key is accepting/making peace with whatever happens and taking comfort in the fact that you spoke up for yourself, or to someone you care about.
HUH? Yes, and ask questions. It occurred to me that asking questions is also a form of affirmation. So, in asking for clarification, I care enough about myself to make sure I fully comprehend what I’m hearing. It is also respectful to the person who’s doing the communicating.
Ok, I’m off my soapbox for now. Happy “Speak in Complete Sentences Day.” Make your actions and THOUGHTS count!