Indirect Communication (3)
This is Sean. I am back and ready to continue with our discussion on HHIA relationships. We have been exploring communication, both direct and indirect.
Direct communication includes: Eye contact, I statements, asking questions and active listening.
Indirect communication includes cues, hints, signs and signals.
One Two One
One the one hand, direct communication and active listening are ways to encourage trust and intimacy. On the other hand, indirect communication can create confusion, frustration and insecurity. These feelings do not encourage comfort or affection.
Ready, Set, Go
We are ready to take a look at some of the signals we are confronted with every day.
The signals we send and receive every day include:
- Traffic lights
- Ring Tones
- Blinkers (Turn Signals)
Ring my Phone
Ring tones are great and there are lots to choose from. But what happens when we give different Apps and different people different tones. Hmm… Sounds like a lot. How do we remember who is who and what is what?
This can also happen in our relationships when we give and/or receive more suggestions and signals rather than clear statements or messages. This can cause confusion and misunderstandings in our intimate relationships.
Intensity like signal strength will generally fall off with distance from the source, although it also depends on the local conditions and the pathway from the source to the point.Charles Francis Richter
Red & Green
Then there are signals which we are all taught and learn to interact with. A prime example are traffic lights, right? So, traffic lights are “universal” – almost always red and green and often with yellow.
Consequently, we all know what these lights stand for:
- Red = Stop
- Yellow = Caution
- Green = Go
Ultimately, they are far from absolute in response or reaction. Many if not most people slow down when they see a yellow light. However, some, if not quite a few, people speed up “with caution” to get safely through the light. I even know a driver who believe in the concept „Cherry Green“. In other words, racing through the first seconds of the red light.
Our relationship, romantic and intimate signals can be equally recognized by others and yet be interpreted differently. Thus, we are helping ourselves and our partners when we are able to give clear and concise instructions/ expectations associated with the signals we give. This is especially important around Stop and Go (Yes & No) messages relating to issues of consent and comfort.
One last, and seemingly omnipresent, „signal“ in todays’ world are emojis. Love them? Hate them? It really doesn’t matter. As texting, SMS, WhatsApp, Messenger, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media and message services on our phones, tablets and computers continue to increase, so do the emojis and like symbols in our daily life. And every so often more of them come into play.
These can be quick and cute and confused. Everyone thinks they know what they mean and how to use them but, do we really? Do we really always know exactly what it being intended, inferenced or alluded to?
Eggplant Parmesan – A quick illustration.
- A young woman texts her mom “What’s for Dinner?”
- Her mom Replies: ?
- Girl Replies “?Yuck… that’s disgusting. We are not having ____ ______ !”
- Mom Types “?What!!! We are having Eggplant Parmesan.”
- Girl texts: “Mom you are never to use the ? emoji ever again! ?”
- (The blank spaces are to comply with the family & google friendly standards. For the solution contact me.)
It turns out the eggplant emoji just as many relationship and romantic visual signals and cues can be interpreted or used for a variety of meanings, not just the obvious ones, by different groups and individuals we interact with.
Clarity and the ability to explain what we mean when asked can really support our comfort and tenderness with our partners. Maintaining a bit of humor and a cool head when giving or receiving explanations or corrections of our responses to signals also encourages tender and supportive communication.
Understandably, misinterpretations and a need for clear explanations can occur as we learn and adjust our signals and interpretations. This it true with new partners and with partners as we grow together and enter new phases of relationship.
This is me. Try being clearer with yourself (and those around you) for a minute, an hour, a day, a week, and see what happens.
Love to hear your thoughts. Till next time! Our earlier Blog-Lessons:
1–2–3–4–5–6–7–8–9–10–11–12–13–14–15–16–17–18–19 –20 –21–22–23–24–25–26–27–28–29–30–31