My Brain-and-Mouth connection doesn’t always work right.  Usually Mouth gets scared:

Brain: Okay Mouth…let’s say this: “I don’t feel like that’s a good idea for you, Bill!”
Mouth: Something is coming from Brain, but I can’t quite make it out.  Something about what Bill is about to do…I think I’m supposed to warn him not to do this, but I’m not sure.  I’m not going to say anything and see what happens…
Me: …

Sometimes, though, Mouth decides it’s best to go off script:

Brain: Okay Mouth…let’s say this: “I don’t feel like that’s a good idea for you, Bill!”
Mouth: That won’t get the point across, Brain.  We’re going to say this…
Me: “Bill, that’s stupid.  This is stupid.  You’re stupid.”

While I can try to blame my communication breakdowns on this faulty connection, the truth is that sometimes I just say the wrong things.  I don’t try to say the wrong things, but somehow they just come out.  What I’m thinking isn’t always expressed very well.  Sometimes I’m guilty of poor communication.

Recently I got into a heated discussion with my girlfriend over a benign topic.  She asked my opinion on her creation of a Facebook group and who should be invited to join.  She said one thing.  I heard something else.  I replied with a different thing.  She heard something else.  And that was it – we were arguing.  And then both of us stopped the discussion by refusing to talk about it, “Ugh…whatever.”

led-zeppelin-communication-breakdown-atlantic-7

This small communication breakdown became a huge source of tension for us and our relationship.  And here’s what was stupid about our argument: we were actually talking about the same thing.  We both completely agreed with one another, but we weren’t able to communicate it well enough for the other to understand, so we sat in bitterly-angry silence.

On this day, the “Tuesday next after the first Monday in the month of November,” millions across the nation are going to vote on a myriad of issues and candidates.  While the past few months (and years) have been filled with screaming matches, accusations, angry silences, and many an “Ugh…whatever”, I can’t help but wonder how much of this has been caused by a lack of good communication.  I wonder how many people have heard one thing but perceived it as something else.  I wonder how many have said something but didn’t mean it that way.  I wonder whether we really disagree this much, or we just don’t communicate well enough.  Are we really this divided, or are we just not communicating well?  [I fully acknowledge that some politicians – on both sides – have said some pretty crazy things that make me ashamed and discouraged.  This is not poor communication; it is poor judgement, poor morals, and poor ethics]

In all the books and seminars on relationships I’ve read and attended, the one thing that is always mentioned as being key to successful relationships (romantic or platonic) is good communication.  This small thing that we rarely think about is huge!  How much different would my life be if I were a better communicator?  How much better would the world be if we were able to communicate well AND listen well?  How much closer would we be to the Kingdom of God if we were able to speak more effectively?

My friends, may we have a fully functioning Brain-and-Mouth connection.  May we all work towards better communication, and God, may we be more compassionate and forgiving when we all fail at this.

much love. sheth.

 

P.S. – here’s a great article on these breakdowns and how we can prevent them

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