Let's have a conversation, okay? A real conversation, with people, using our words and not our keyboards or touchscreens. And yes, I know I'm a blogger and use my keyboard to deliver my message pretty often, but I also contend that we need to have conversations where we purposefully get on the same level with our conversation partner and look them in the eye while we talk.
Let's have a conversation that is an actual dialogue; a respectful back and forth. Can we even recall what those are like? Would we be able to recognize a polite and meaningful conversation if one was happening right in front us? I'm not sure, but I sure do hope so.
Communication is tough, and I hope I'm not the only one who feels that way. As a wife, I have trouble considerately communicating with my husband. As a woman, I have trouble openly communicating with other women, mostly out of fear that I'll be judged. As a mom, I struggle to always appropriately, adequately, and effectively communicate with my children, yet communicating with all of these people is exactly what I should and need to be doing.
No matter how challenging it may be for you, you need to have those conversations.
You need to have conversations with your children about anything and everything that they want to talk about — including those more challenging subjects.
You need to have conversations with your children's educators; be supportive of them and let them support you and your children — work together.
You need to have conversations with your friends, and you need to have them regularly.
You need to have conversations with strangers because those people have a chance of becoming your friend. Often we neglect making new friends or connecting with old friends when life gets too busy, and that is the exact wrong thing to be doing.
You need to have conversations with other like-minded individuals so that you feel inspired.
You need to have conversations with those that think differently than you, so that you may expand your thinking.
Sometimes it feels like the easier thing to do is to stay silent, shut down, or to merely engage in surface level banter with those inside and outside of our families. Try not to do this. You are important and what you have to say is important, and you know what, so is what other people have to say — be it your young children, a co-worker, your spouse, or a man standing behind you at the grocery store.
Listen actively and happily.
Listen and engage in the conversations initiated by others and initiate some yourself.
Communication is central to connecting with others. Connections with those close to us and others who are simply in this world journeying around us are vital to our happiness and the happiness of the world.
Let's have a freaking conversation, okay? And please make sure that the conversations you are having are marked with humble respect and an honest desire to be heard and to listen.
This article originally appeared on EverydayFamily Inc. at this link.