Communication

  • Civility and manners,  Communication,  Friendship and relationship advice,  Gratitude

    Are thank-you notes old-fashioned?

    “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” – William Arthur Ward In one of her recent advice columns, Amy Dickinson (“Dear Amy”) said the largest percentage of her mail comes from baffled readers who are hurt or angry because they didn’t receive thank-you notes for their gifts. At the same time, many other readers who leave comments on her columns don’t believe it’s necessary to write thank-you notes now. One young bride said she didn’t have time to write thank-you notes for her wedding gifts because her life was “too busy.” (Never mind that she’d found the time to mail out invitations…

  • Communication,  Greenfield Village and Henry Ford Musuem,  Health & wellbeing,  relationships

    Boundaries

    “We live in a time when people have unprecedented access to us. Bosses and coworkers expect you to read emails and DMs late at night, friends and family go into long rants over the phone or texts and expect instant feedback. Sometimes we have to say, ‘I don’t have the capacity to hold you right now because I’m trying to hold myself.'” ~Melanie Santos Stone walls, fences, and guard rails define our limits and announce our boundaries. They protect our property or keep us from falling over the edge. Along these lines, emotional boundaries helps us guard our time and privacy. While the internet serves as an invaluable communication tool,…

  • Civility and manners,  Communication,  Interpersonal skills

    Can we talk?

    “I once worked with someone who would only listen for about 15 seconds before interrupting — and then it was only to say something about himself….No matter how long we actually spoke, he just linked whatever you said back to himself and what he wanted to talk about. This effectively ended the conversation.” ~Jack Thomas, Good Conversations Lately I’ve been fascinated by the topic of meaningful conversation and how it can enrich our relationships. With that in mind, I’ve been tracking down articles and books that explore the reasons why we’re losing the art of good conversation and what we can do about it. According to several behavioral scientists, we’ve…

  • Communication,  Mental health,  Personal growth

    How wired are you ?

    “When I grow up, I’m gonna look up from my phone and see my life.” ~Phoebe Bridgers Have you been feeling lonely lately? Ironically, a growing body of research shows that being more connected online is making us lonelier — and eroding our mental health. The American Medical Association, for instance, examined several new studies on “the internet and psychological well-being.” Overall, increased internet use was associated with “a decline in users’ communication with family members, a decrease in their social circle, and an increase in depression and loneliness.”  Socializing online also makes us lazier. We delude ourselves into believing that we’ve spent time with others — when we’ve only…

  • Communication,  relationships

    Words and feelings

    “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~Maya Angelou As the old adage goes, it’s not just what we say that matters — but how we say it. While preparing for an essay workshop I coached last month, I ran across some notes I’d made about the importance of “voice and tone” in our writing. Since most personal essays are conversational, our job as writers is to draw readers into the heart and soul of our stories. We want others to relate to our experiences; we don’t want to alienate them. The same is true…