Wednesday, 4 January 2012
I was very good at broken telephone in primary school.
The mean girl with the shrub who always rushed through the "secret" word had nothing on me because I could decipher her words. I am still good at it 15 years later..OK 20 but whose counting :)
I am very good at hearing what people don't say.In campus I attended all psychology electives that dealt with interpersonal behaviour and non verbal communication. Why? Because for the longest I felt, and still feel, that people don't understand me (sometimes). Is it me? Is it them? Am I from Venus and the whole freaking globe is from Mars? Whatever the reason is, I am good at communicating..in my own way.
Trouble is, I keep encountering people as close as my most excellent bed mate, who aren't.
How do we learn how to communicate then?
From our parents? from our house helps? I fired my son's nanny this morning because, among other misdemeanours, she has taught my niece to say,"weee" "mjinga" and "angalia huyu" As a result, my cute 2 year old niece communicates through abuse. My son, by beating her up and all of us by yelling.
Why do we expect others to read our minds and know the entire picture – the one that is in your mind – without showing it to them? Just because one person has the picture in their minds eye, doesn’t mean that anyone else sees it. As a matter of fact, you are the only one in the entire world (or Universe) that sees that picture!
The world’s history is riddled with cultural and religious clashes, with millions of senseless loss of life over one thing: Lack Of Communication Skills. You could also call it: Refusal To Appreciate Other People’s Views. In 2011 I lost a lot of friends and businesses because of lack of communication skills on both my part and that of the communicatees <--- Just coined this word if you use it MPESA!
Here are a few rules about communication that I have learnt to avoid BROKEN TELEPHONE:
1. Never communicate via social media
When Mark Zuckerberg started face book (then called The Facebook) he wanted guys in Harvard to get to know each other better. Noble cause. Fast forward 8 years later, guys now cheat, hire, fire, make up and yes breakup through facebook, twitter, gmail chat, skype, meebo, snap even Linkedin! I laugh that the new way to show enmity is by "removing" someone from facebook, blocking them, unfollowing them on twitter and such. Gone were the days when you just avoided meeting them in town! The world has really become a global village.
Social media is the perfect example of "Broken Telephone."
When someone posts something on Facebook, you will automatically think that they are targeting you as an individual. I have a friend on fb called Eddie Mbugua who is constantly getting into a "comments" argument with his wad of female friends about some of the chauvinistic statuses he posts. Why? There's the me me factor.
It's not always about you!
Point is, if you have guts enough to put it on face book and twitter, have the same gusto to pick the phone and call and yes NEVER text! The tone in texts is worse than on chat and twice the charge!
Did you know you text and chat according to your state of mind? The optimism spewed when you have just gotten paid or laid is very different from the one you have on Sunday morning or after a great loss. If someone taunts you in the afternoon, you work in Industrial area, have a had a crappy lunch or a boring work load, you will subconsciously off load all that stress on the text.
Face to face is always best. Don't break up on the phone, tell then face to face. Don't solve emotional conflict via social media, face to face is always best.
You see,you can see the pain written all over someones face when they explain how that text really hurt them. you can also touch them which, scientist have proven, is indeed a language of love.
Leave social media to occupy wall street, the Egyptians, Major General ChirChir and free advertising, don't fight on facebook and please, don't whine on twitter, I don't know why, especially on that forum, you come across like the hugest looser south of Qaddafi's grave!
2. Tell the person, not their mother, best friend or boss
"I can't stand that person." How many times have you pseudo confided/ runt and raved to a stranger, work mate, friend or even a relative.
This is where broken telephone earns it's degree. The worst kind of information is second hand. Personally, I have been so hurt by what I heard than what was told to my face. There's some malice that comes from 2nd hand information. Depending on whose giving it, it can either be laden with crap, royco and venom. It's my 2012 resolution not to talk about people because guess what, people will talk about me too and in the worst ways.
In 2011 a good friend of mine cornered me about some juicy piece of trash I was hauling around about her. What I liked was HOW she told me. 3 months later when more important things had happened in her life. She called me out with respect and I took it, how could I not? I also learnt that if I give it, I've got to take it. I have been trash talked so much in 2011 it's a wonder I don't wear garbage bags.
So now I tell people, with respect. Steppin' to guys is really a ghetto thing to do. We all fall, we are all imperfect, this whole issue of calling someone out like they owe you rent is really juvenile and the result of having a bad nanny ( re-affirming my decision to fire the bitch) It is also very juvey to brood. As a noun, brood means a bunch of chickens, as an adjective, it means acting like a child. Children mope because their communication skills are not fully developed. Adults brood because their communication skills are not fully developed. Difference, are you a child? no? GROW UP!
3. Never burn your bridges, it is never that serious
Unless it is an abusive, adulterous, hurtful ex, never use the word never.
"I will never talk to this person again." Life is full of elements that bring us together in ways that only the Almighty knows. I never liked my cousin, he was a bit of an asshole and he beat his wife. When he died tragically in a road accident, it didn't matter, we were all equal. That's the point really, we are all equal. The only place where some are more equal than others is in the "Animal farm" and in Parliament.
If my flaw is financial management, maybe yours is verbal diarrhea and the other guy rapes people! We are all equal, no one is more perfect than the other especially when communicating with someone you love.
If you pose your point of view as more superior than the other person's then your going no where really. It can't always be your way and even though you are set in them, the world isn't yours, there are people with a different set of ideals. Agree to disagree, don't rubbish them as a lost cause.
I am straight but don't hate on homosexuals. I am a Christian, I don't hate on Muslims. That's just me. Opinions differ but we are one. Agree to disagree don't write off all Somalis as Al Shabaab for example.
If someone writes you off, hung up the phone and step on" Bishop T.D Jakes
Which brings me to my final point
4. Let it go
Sometimes, no amount of talking is going to solve it. If you have followed all the steps of communicating which are:
AIMING> What and why do you want to communicate
ENCODING> What language should I use, what does the "user" already know
TRANSMITTING> Is it the right time and what is the point
RECEIVING> Remember that whatever you read or are told, people think 3 times faster than they speak
DECODING> Did the sender get the message?
RESPONDING> This could also mean, not saying anything at all or blogging about it
Page 5 of 366 done!
Love and Light to you and yours...always