Today, I’ve decided to write to you about a topic that genuinely haunts me on most days – miscommunication and how it makes me sound like the creepy stalker one should steer clear of.
Miscommunication here can mean a lot of things. From a word that you’ve been using wrong all your life, the message you wanted to convey but which got interpreted in a drastically different manner and even just lack of communication for fear of what the other person will say.
Let’s take an example of this e-mail that my grandma sent me about a month after I joined college. Being new to the concept of texting and abbreviations here’s what she wrote (I skipped a few parts):
Just spoke to your parents. Was very glad to hear that you’re adapting to the new college life.
Mom mentioned that you’ve been feeling homesick. I know that there’s been a huge change in your life but I’m sure that you’ll soon embrace the change. We are always here to support you in case of trouble. LOL, GM
Wait, what? LOL?
I checked with dad and turns out she thought it meant lots of love. I couldn’t stop laughing, but then I checked out a couple of posts online and turns out a lot of people have made this same mistake! And just like that, a mail of sympathy became a sarcastic burn. (Or is it me who has had it wrong all this while? O.o )
This however at least is in written form. What really gets in my way is verbal communication. I’ve had unlimited embarrassing moments where I’d be thinking clear and concise thoughts on how to get the message across and end up saying something like, “Erm, uh, so whatcha think?”
Lately, I’ve had trouble talking to my classmates, such that I’m barely on talking terms with 3 of them. At first, I spent a week analysing what went wrong or what exactly it was that I said that drove them into avoiding me but turns out it was just a simple misunderstanding. (Yes this sounds unbelievably vague I know, but what can I say? It’s all anonymous remember; and there are only so many nicknames that I can assign)
As it turns out, they interpreted my inability to express myself as too much attitude and that I’m not social enough to be “in their group”. (Groupism. Yet another topic I should cover soon)
Now as my week of self-loathing introspection ends I’ve realised this -sure I may be unable to say what I want or what I feel at times. But those who are worth keeping around are able to understand what I want to really say, even in my silence. Lately, even blogging my thoughts helps. I’ve found that every idea or inkling that I have gets a certain clarity when I put it down in words.
So I leave with a piece of advice for all you introverts trying to get out there more – relax. No one is worth your attention if they themselves aren’t ready to contribute in a mutual relationship.
At least I’ll always have the few real friends that I do here. But more on them later.