For me it is not. Writing is how I best express my thoughts. Writing gives me control over the final edit to, hopefully, make the finished product the best I can make it. Writing is the form of communication that works best for me.
That being said, writing is just one form of communication. Others include speaking, body language, listening and sign language. If I had to rank myself on the first four here is how they would rank for me from best to worst – writing, listening, speaking, body language. I know nothing about sign language at all.
Writing allows me, although I sometimes don’t take advantage, the option to edit, delete, rewrite and add to what I probably thought was pretty good to start with. It allows me to potentially stick my foot in my mouth (replace foot with pen or word processor) less often. I should be able to catch these errors in grammar, spelling and judgment and edit them to make them more palatable for the reader. Do I always do this? Of course not, but with writing I do have that option.
When speaking I cannot take back what I said (edit it) so the edit option is not really available. I do have a filter I can use but once words pass the filter and the lips they are out and cannot be un-said. I can try to explain what was said wrong or offensive with more talking but that normally just digs a bigger hole. That is why I will normally not be the most talkative person in any group setting.
The quote often attributed to Abraham Lincoln says,
That is one of my favorite quotes.
I have never been accused of wearing my emotions on my sleeve. I am often accused of not wearing them at all.
Emotions are part of body language but not all body language is expressed by emotions. I do try to pay attention and communicate that to the person speaking. Body language is expressed in many ways such as smiling, nodding, crossing your arms, leaning forward in your seat, or leaning back and reclining. I recognize body language is an important part of communication and it does communicate whether you want it to or not. I do try to make myself aware of this form of communication but I often fail.
Listening is the least used but most important part of communication from my perspective. If there is no one to listen, the speaker is just talking to themselves. Many speakers don’t really have a problem with this as they enjoy hearing themselves talk but there is really no communication taking place when that happens.
Listening is often thought of as being a passive activity. However, it really is an active activity that you have to consciously focus on and work at to be master it. When involved in a conversation most people are multi-tasking, listening with one ear and thinking of what they are going to say in response to words they haven’t even heard yet. Listening with one ear, trying to think ahead and predict what the speaker is going to say, and then formulating a response all at the same time does not work very well.
Listening also provides people like me topics to write about.
2 Ears 1 Mouth
I am sure you have all heard the saying, God gave you 2 ears and 1 mouth so that means He intended for you to listen twice as much as you talk. I think we would all be better off if we put this into practice and really listened to what is being said. If there is silence for a few seconds or even longer before you speak there is nothing wrong with that. It shows you were listening and now you are processing what you heard and formulating a response. This shows respect to the speaker and will have most believing you are the best conversationalist in the room.
Try it the next chance you get. You just might learn something.
Until next time…
Originally posted on Peculiar Perspective on 03/25/2014