Wednesday, January 03, 2007

c is for communicate

I think a main question these days is something to the effect of “what’s wrong with our generation?” As far as I can tell, this question refers to a lot of things – the rise of same-sex relationships, drug-use, the reemergence of legwarmers – but I’m pretty sure every avenue this question could refer to always leads to the unsaid question of “why can’t people in this generation grow up already and actually take responsibility and date and get married and have kids that they can raise to be even more screwed up than they are?”

I’m convinced that the problem doesn’t so much lie in our disinterest in getting married and raising screwed up kids as it does in our inability to actually date and get married. So, as much as we analyze this question and solutions to this terrible problem, I’m pretty sure the answer is actually insanely simple. Pay attention to this: COMMUNICATE.

A concept that’s drilled into our heads the day we’re born. The only way babies ever get what they want is by learning to communicate - it’s a simple thing. If you’re hungry, sleepy or uncomfortable, you scream your head off. Some kids of course are exceptions. My sister didn’t talk until she was at least 3. It’s not that she couldn’t talk – she just chose not to. For her, it was easier to use body language than screaming. If she was hungry, she would dramatically throw herself up against the fridge. The one negative part about that approach is all the bruises you get. But either way, the point is this: we all know how to communicate effectively and efficiently. It doesn’t take a lot to express how you feel and what you need.

So, where along the way do we lose this ability to communicate? Think of how easy it would be to go up to somebody you think is attractive and just start screaming your head off – they’ll quickly realize what you want, comply, and everybody will be happy again. It’s that simple. Instead, we play the hard-to-get game of acting uninterested just long enough for the other person to lose interest completely and then acting like it was the other person’s fault that the relationship didn’t work.

Another dominant tactic contributing to non-successful mating is saying things that don’t relate at all to the point you’re trying to get across. Let me share some examples:

This is from an email written by a boy I was dating. I mentioned I was a little irritated that he never asked what I wanted or how I felt.

*Note: This email was not a break-up email. He was honestly trying to mend things…*

“My reason for not taking the time to ask you how you felt is that I just expected you to be tactless and retarded.”

My heart almost melted when I read this. All of a sudden it was so clear to me why he wanted to make things work between us and why he was attracted to me…Why oh why didn’t I keep that boy around?

Here’s one more example of not communicating clearly. It’s one thing to fumble on your words, but it’s a completely different ballgame to contradict yourself completely in the same sentence. This isn’t a foreign sentence, though – I’m sure every girl’s heard it:

“We can't kiss at all or really get physical although I am very attracted to you.”

I didn’t even respond to this one – I had no idea which point to focus on. Was I to be flattered or offended?

So the moral of the story is – screaming your head off is more effective than talking. You always get your way and your message is always clear. Can we all please try this approach just for fun? I think the results will amaze you and anybody belonging to a generation older than you… maybe not younger generations because, let’s be honest – due to our inability to mate, those are becoming extinct.


punk rock girl said...

two things that really scare me are dakota fanning and communication.

Heather Heba said...

I'd just like to point out that the email from a boy stating that he's attracted to you but can't kiss you has to have come from a WHITE boy. White boys say stuff like that (well, the Mormon ones at least). Brown boyz do not. Communication is much clearer and there's less hesitancy in the showing of affection.

becky said...

this: “My reason for not taking the time to ask you how you felt is that I just expected you to be tactless and retarded.” is by far one of the funniest things i've ever read. ever.

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zephyrprime said...

I do not understand this posting at all.

When boy #1 said: “My reason for not taking the time to ask you how you felt is that I just expected you to be tactless and retarded.” it seems to me like he was just telling you you were lame.

When boy #2 said: “We can't kiss at all or really get physical although I am very attracted to you.” it seems to me like he was just saying that he is attracted to you but unwilling to act on that attraction.

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Anonymous said...

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- Murk