Communication 101

  • Christine Vander Wielen, M.S.W., LCSW
  • Series: Dear Rosa

When I was in graduate school one of my professors asked the class, “Can you ever not communicate with a loved one?” There was silence among us, followed by numerous philosophical answers. Finally, he answered his own question and explained, “You cannot not communicate with a loved one.” For a minute or two, we all sat puzzled.

Seeing the expression on our faces, he expounded, “Even if you don’t say a word, you are still communicating.” So true. Not only do we communicate through words, voice inflection, volume, posture, and body language, but even our silence sends a message. The challenge is our communication is not an exact science. Sometimes the simplest phrase can be misunderstood. How many times have feelings been hurt, arguments started, tension between family members begun because of a misunderstanding and assumption?