Whether it be Facebook, Twitter, or any social networking forum, think about the characters that you have friended or followed… 80% of them will fall into a category.
The ‘I’m oh so cool look at me’ updater.
The ‘Ive just been dumped…no Ive not…yes I have…’ status-er.
The ‘Ive just stubbed my toe’ 200 pointless updates a day-er.
The constant ‘Im at the gym’ check in-er.
The ‘Oh wow I’m so hungover… again…’ status-er.
I could go on… and on…there will be people that consistently fall into these categories, you’ll no doubt have a few names in your head right now – and there will be people that at different times, fall into varying ones.
My point is, that when you think of those names that ring a bell within each category, the communication style that they have chosen to consistently adopt has defined your perception of them as a person.
I have a ‘Facebook’ friend.
She updates (on what feels like a daily basis) about how hungover she is and what an amazing night it was, or what drinking related injury she has. Rightly or wrongly, I have the impression – that all she does is party and make my own judgement on that. She is actually a partner in a law firm, and monday to friday works like a trojan. So why does she portray the image that she does on Facebook?
I learned very early on in life, that perception is reality. The concept of ‘fake it till you make it’ strengthens this. People will believe of you… what you choose to communicate to them. Very few people were actually aware of the reality of my life 5 years ago, I let them know what I chose to online, and invited my really close friends into my ‘real world’.
So why am I talking about the images that we portray online? Simple.
Those images, on sites such as Facebook or Twitter, are those that we communicate through writing and images. The key word here… Communicate.
Whether it be written communication, communication through the use of sign language, verbal, body language… there is nothing more important in the world.
I would say that I have always been reasonably strong at communicating in a work sense (prior to my coaching days), or even helping my friends with that… but when it comes to me, I’m rubbish! At the start of my health journey, I was really struggling to keep on top of the cleaning and cooking, and getting frustrated and upset… guess what… I hadn’t even told my boyfriend. Nor had I shared my fears about what was happening to me, or what the future held. We were gradually becoming ships that passed in the night, and I didn’t know how to fix it, when I didn’t even have the energy for anything else.
We managed to start talking.
And if Im honest, it wasn’t carefully planned, or very pretty, but in a bit of a whirlwind we both succeeded in actually saying what we were thinking, swallowing some hard truths, and there were minor stand offs involved! But the outcome was one of becoming 100% united, and open, suddenly I felt supported, and he understood where I was coming from. I have read on some blogs that people find it nigh on impossible to explain the fatigue, and only after the mutual outburst, and having to pause for me to rest on a garden wall in the 100 yard walk from the bus stop to the flat, did my boyfriend and I open up the communication and understanding.
Are you supporting or receiving the support that you need in life from colleagues or loved ones?
If something is going right for you right now… I guarantee its because communication channels are free flowing and working well!! If they’re not… I absolutely promise that you can make them right by opening up those communication lines!
I would encourage you, to start somewhere. Maybe thats simply a cuddle. If you are struggling, desperate to appear strong… just cry, regardless of who’s watching! I remember being told once, that if you crouch down and open your arms, whether it be a child, a pet, they will come to you! Whether you are telling a troublesome teen, or your partner, that you love them… don’t underestimate the power of it. Those three words can turn a relationship on its head.
Even these simple actions may feel like a mountain to climb…but its the first step in opening up those channels…
Do whatever you need to start the ball rolling. You may find a wave of emotion that you are finally getting things off your chest will result in some raised voices, (I certainly did.) Embrace that, however try not to make shouting a regular thing. After initial ups and downs and getting things out in the open, Alan and I are better than ever. You will find that people will be shocked, you will tell them things that never even occurred to them…in my case he just said that he had not even considered the enormity of it all. It will challenge both you and them! But once they know, they know.
And their actions towards you, will change too.
Communication is King!
You get the idea. Today, ponder the image that you are portraying, and how you are communicating with those that are close to you. Take some ownership in changing that if need be, and transform some situations.