by Sarah Johnson
In the digital world we live in, it is easy to forget that communicating is not connecting.
Communication is essentially sharing a message or a transfer of information. If you are only communicating, you will feel a distance or separation. You can communicate without connecting.
Connecting is only about 7% words. The other 93% is body language and voice, your tone and volume. It is nearly impossible to connect with only sharing words, especially if those words are in black and white text.
“Relationship problems don’t occur because people can’t figure out better communication methods such as speaking more respectfully or listening better.” According to Dr. Stephen Stosny, “…the real problem is disconnection. When individuals in a relationship are disconnected, they communicate poorly, no matter what techniques they use or what words they choose.”
Connection involves emotion and expression. When you intentionally give someone your time; you make eye contact, smile, show facial expression and you might even physically reach out to them. “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Perhaps this quote from Maya Angelou could almost sum up the difference between connecting with someone versus communicating with them. Connections are much more emotional and they help someone to not just hear, but feel your message.
Take time to connect with those around you. Sending and receiving a kind text message is nice, but having someone looking directly at you and telling you they care about you or that they are grateful to you, that would feel so much different. Emotional states, such as interest and caring, are conveyed primarily by facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice, not by words or communication techniques. Intentionally try to connect with those you care about. In this digital age, don’t lose sight of the value of true connection, that’s something you won’t find from behind any screen!