Saturday, May 19, 2012

"Basic Principles"

 Let's take some lessons from Hitch.  Yes, movies are not where one usually gets sound, biblical dating advice, but movies do influence and shape our ideals in one form or another.  In this case, Hitch, the infamous love doctor has some pretty sound points on communication. 

In the opening scene of the movie, Alex Hitchens, shares the basic principles of communicating with women and how women hope and long for that one right guy who will sweep her off her feet. 

According to Hitch, 60 percent of communication is non-verbal-body language, 30 percent is tone-how we say the other 10 percent.  I think I have subconsciously understood this, but never really pulled it to the surface.  Personally, I am a talker.  Kind of an incessant one at that, and am probably so busy flapping my gums that I don't pay much attention to body language much less tone.  I do recognize some immediate changes that need to be made in this area in order for any relationships with friends and family to grow much less for any chances of being swept off my feet by the one.

I need to pay attention to the non-verbal vibes I put out like do I carry myself with confidence? walk into a room with a joy or enthusiasm that is contagious? or do I slump my shoulders and complain "woe is me" to everyone I meet? 

Tone is a big deal.  This is an area I struggle with quite a bit.  In my job, my tone is a very important  part of how I communicate.  I get easily frustrated and allowed those emotions to spill over in my tone of voice.  I dislike sarcasm, but still catch myself falling victim to it.

Verbal communication, what we actually say, is the smallest part of the communication process.  Imagine how much breath I have wasted when I have already been tuned out from the body language and tone of what I say.  That is indeed a problem.

So how do we clue into our own body language and tone?  How do we notice the vibes of others around us?

Personally, I NEED to do the following:
1. Talk less, listen more-this seems to go without saying, but evidently I am always talking and it's hard to listen if you can't hear anyone but yourself.  I have had some of the best memories of times when I waited on others and allowed them to speak and share their experiences before opening up mine.  They are few and I hope to have more, but I will treasure them forever.

2. Go people watching-Okay, maybe not this extreme.  I could attempt to be more conscious of others non-verbal behaviors in my circle of influence.  Open my eyes, look below the surface a little.  This really baffles me sometimes when I am actually aware of  it.  So much is communicated in movement or the stiffening of a body or even in a smile.  People watching is also fun and can be done rather easily in a crowded public place.  Just sit and watch people.

3. Focus more on God-He is an automatic pick-me-up and will always be there for me if I let Him.  That should immediately allow me to raise my head a little higher and walk with confidence that everything will be okay because as his child he promises that it will (Rom. 8:38)

Thank you, Hitch, I was listening.

"Walk in wisdom toward them that are without,
redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace,
seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man."
~Colossians 4:5

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