PICTURES ARE WORTH MORE THAN A THOUSAND WORDS

Communicating with people can be a challenge. Let’s not lie to ourselves. Especially when it’s done in any form that isn’t face to face. Which is pretty much the only thing we do now-a-days. Send text based messages to friends, family, co-workers, clients, significant others, love interests, enemies, random people on the Internet, etc. There’s so many ways to relay a message where the recipient is left to interpret the tone and delivery all by themselves. What could possibly go wrong with that? So. Many. Things.

Before going further, I think we need to take a quick rest stop and think about the different kinds of communicators that exist. Because there are several and they are not the same. At all. In fact, the range from direct to detailed is huge and all of them leave so much room for interpretation. Here are my 6 main categories, but many people flow between several depending on their mood:

  • Straight to the Point Steve
    • This is the person who just asks for what they need. They won’t respond unless absolutely necessary. Typically comes off a bit cold and standoff-ish
  • No BS Nancy
    • This is the person who will respond, but will not show any emotion. No exclamation points, or emojis, will be found in their communication. Typically comes off as stressed, but focused
  • One Word Owen
    • This is the person who can’t keep a conversation going to save their lives. Their answers are one to two words / emojis long. Typically comes across as dull or rude
  • Makes No Sense Meredith
    • This is the person who won’t respond to what you sent. They’ll get on a tangent and neither one of you will understand what is being communicated. Typically comes across as scattered and frustrating
  • Emoji Ethan
    • This is the person who loves their emoji / GIF keyboard more than anyone should. Every word has an emoji after it. Typically comes across as immature and unprofessional
  • Way Too Detailed Wanda
    • This is the person who will respond to absolutely everything you sent and then continue to ask questions. Typically comes across as a lot

Great! A fun starting guideline to how we communicate with each other has been established. And, as you probably have experienced in your own life, the same message from all of these people will be interpreted very differently. For example, let’s say they were all giving you a lunch order:

Steve: Chicken salad sandwich on a croissant. Apple on the side. Hold the lettuce.

Nancy: For lunch, I would like a personal hawaiian pizza.

Owen: Cheesesteak

Meredith: Oh, I had the best salad from that new deli the other day. I can’t remember the owner’s name, but they were certainly lovely. We had the nicest talk about our dogs!

Ethan: Yes 🙂 lunch! Sushi 😛 

Wanda: Perfect! I’m so hungry 😛 can I please have a kale smoothie for lunch, if you don’t mind? What are your plans for dinner, btw? Maybe we could cook a chicken dish 🙂

See? Which one of those would you rather receive? Personally, I use emojis to relay my own tone and delivery. I also use them to gauge the other person’s tone and delivery. It may just be me, but Ethan and Wanda would be my preference over the other four. How else would I let them know that saying ‘I hate you’ is simply a joke unless I put the cry laughing emoji next to it? Or used a GIF of an unimpressed child’s side eye? They would actually think I hated them. Which, I have to believe, would cause some big problems. How did everyone communicate pre-emoji? What a nightmare.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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