• Alex Alexander

Can We Talk About It?: The Dirty Handlings Of Modern-day Communication


It's a known fact that in todays society, we don't have time for much. We're always looking for a shortcut, an abridged version, an easy fix or just a simpler way around most things. It's become an utter burden to give something or better yet someone our full and most receptive attention. We are prone to programming almost every piece of stimuli that comes our way, from what we watch on television, to what we choose to acknowledge as news. We get to pick and choose what is of value, what is of interest and that, for the most part, is a good thing. But there is a difference between your honest disinterest and a sheer lack of consideration for anyone/ thing that stands opposite of you and your willingness to relate.

The finest individuals have the greatest appreciation for communicating with others because they know that in our differences, a larger commonality is obtainable. Digging beyond the unfamiliar in another human being doesn't knock you down from your point of view, it enhances it. You learn, you grow and eventually you change for the better. Instead we treat each other like disposable data. We pick only the most attractive pieces of information from one another and build from them some easily digestible, half story of a person. But newsflash folks! -people aren't customizable. We are set menus, not a list of ingredients. So if you're ever going to invest in an agenda outside of your own, we have to stop receiving one another with half-assed, hurried-through courtesies of current day communication.

Easily Built and Quickly Broken

There are only two reasons people form a bond; 1, you've either seen in someone the potential to nurture a mutually beneficial dynamic, or 2, you're out for a temporary fix that only manipulating the time and genuine interests of another person can pacify. A fast burning "twin flame" that more so serves the purpose of a social stepping stone than a true soulmate. Bonds get built fast upon false pretenses and shallow acts of relating on a surface level. They fail miserably and usually at the expense of the more genuinely invested party (yes, theres always one) There is always one person who holds on a little longer hoping that their initial investment isn't being taken for granted in some scheme to make a less interesting person seem more interesting. Good people often get grouped into the quantity and not the quality of most relationships, both platonic or otherwise.

"Love comes when manipulation stops; when you think more about the other person than about his or her reactions to you. When you dare to reveal yourself fully. When you dare to be vulnerable."

-Joyce Brothers

I am a lover of people through and through. Everything I do is in efforts to communicate with the world around me. I take the good and the bad in people and dare to stick around through them both. Unfortunately thats not how I'm always received. As a result i've watched many take their leave just as fast as they make their entrance into my world. simply because I didn't succumb to their limited views of what it means to relate or because the strength of who I am without their projections of who they think I should be. scares them shitless. Thats totally fair. People reserve the right to aim their affections, no matter how weak, in whatever direction they please. It'd just be nice if those who want so little out of their human interactions make space for those who are still able to see the forrest of decent people beyond the thick of self-serving trees.

Critical Criticisms

Sometimes it's easy to tune out certain things like bad music or other peoples politics, When something becomes abrasive to our egos or poses a threat to our learned fundamentals, we have a tendency to cancel out what is otherwise known as noise; leaving behind a trail of missed opportunities in need of interpretation. Criticism or the act of simply calling someone out on their bullshit has become one of the hardest pills to swallow for the one on the receiving end of things. Sometimes its even harder to communicate a misunderstanding or a set of hurt feelings because there is always that possibility of being shot down or belittled. There is always a fear of vulnerability on both ends of the spectrum. But the only resolution here is total openness.

“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body and It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”

-Winston Churchill

When approached delicately and without malice, the act of criticizing or shining light on someones faults can begin a gap-bridging dialogue that in turn may bring two opposites together and on one accord. The truth is no one likes to be told about themselves or be viewed in a harsh or negative light. But alas, no ones perfect, your way will never be the only way and everybody deserves to get checked every now and again.

Not Listening, Just Waiting to talk.

This is by far one of the shittiest ways to approach a good old fashioned back-and-fourth. Like when folks turn on that loop of endless, "yeah, uh huh's" that falsely encourages one to keep the conversation going or when a retort is so shallow and one sided that it becomes painfully obvious that your words have fallen on the deaf ears of someone so full of themselves it hurts. The best thing for people like that to do is take a long walk off a short pier wearing a pair of concrete Louboutins.

Yet i'm somewhat sympathetic to this behavior. Ive learned a long time ago the benefits of listening more than I speak and in all my years of being a good listener, i've come to realize that most people are just not all that interesting. And even if they are, they have little to no experience in cultivating a real dialogue that not only enlightens but makes good use of language and the overall exchange of ideas.

"I remind myself every morning that nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if i'm going to learn, I must do it by listening."

-Larry King

People are so busy hoping to get their point across that we fail to keep communication a two-way street. Often times we forget the power of words and what they are capable of doing to the human persuasion even in their absence. In a world where there are countless ploys vying for our attention It doesn't hurt to listen with intent to someone who is willing to speak without bias .


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