A photo of my husband and son when we lived in Portland, Oregon.
With virtual communication being the norm *and* people (many of us) taking email, text and all the various other ways there are to communicate or get a hold of someone as a way to hide (we hide as the senders and we hide as the receivers of virtual comm), old-school comm, painting with a high touch paintbrush and simple presence when you’re with someone have become more important.
It’s how we are judging which family members, friends and businesses to align ourselves with.
We’re so hungry for IT — we’re suffering from palpable and meaningful emotional connections. In other words, we are feeling so much emotional distance (+ our emotional IQ has gone down as a virtual people).
It’s the last thing we want — for that to decrease, especially when there are plenty of other things in life, in our country and planet that feel like dying vs. growing, but, it is, in fact, happening…
As a result, these things are becoming ever more important:
- Phone calls
- Snail mail
- If the many options are exactly that ~ too many ~ and overwhelming (it got there for me), choosing/focusing on one or two and letting people know that’s where you’re choosing to spend your time and to contact you there (Josh and I did that and it’s been extremely helpful).
- Going out of your way to see people, to ask how they’re doing and caring to know the response.
- Responding to emails, invitations, text messages — and if you can’t [and especially if you’re a business owner or a family member (part of one of the best inventions ever ~> family), having systems (or one day devoted to communication) in place where you’re being responsive to clients or family members is vital to your contentment, because relationships that’ll be there for you for the long run are vital to it]
I liken this conversation to the “let’s do something!” “Yeah, I’ll call you!” of yesteryear.
I remember moving back from Amsterdam 12 years ago (after four years learning a different way) and telling Josh I wasn’t going to knee-jerk say what I didn’t think about before saying it anymore (the Dutch were so precise — clear — in their communication and grounded honesty).
We have become desensitized as a culture, brushing off disconnection and even behavior that doesn’t feel aligned with who we are by saying things like “oh, she’s/he’s just not good with responding” or “she’s just not good with RSVPing” as normal.
If you’re not making excuses for yourself anymore in this realm, why make excuses for others in your life? Or — if you want to have a life and relationships that are different, elevated and engaged, then only do life business with the person that has become aware, too.
It is not “normal” for you to ghost or for friends, family or clients to ghost you (or — let’s not make it so?). Sure, they might be busy or, maybe, you’re busy (another emotional epidemic), or yes, you could ask where in your own life you are ghosting people you love or care about and maybe that’s why you’re experiencing it so much in your own life, but, the bottom line is that there’s (also) something larger at play.
As a society we are looking at virtual as a type of daily virtual reality, bot or AI situation, something not fully real and, therefore, not fully something (someone) we need to engage with as real.
Real people *are* on the other end of the thread, chain, computer or smartphone.
We’re not so advanced or smart if we allow our EQ to dip. We’re not. Our EQ — and our genuine presence — is one of the things that help bring this whole thing…this existence, evolution, and humanity UP from e v e r y t h i n g we dislike right now.
About a year and a half ago, realizing all this to be true for myself and for many around me (doesn’t matter the level as a sinking ship dips quickly), I wrote 10 names on a post-it.
They were the names of friends, acquaintances or family members that I was going to make a more concerted effort to love in all the ways that were available to me…being “better” on and through virtual communication with them was one, but this only came with a clear re-commitment to physical presence and all the presents that come with that, not just for them but for me, too.
Ever since that re-commitment, my daily life has been filled with more peace and joy; focusing on what’s important is important.
I placed that post-it next to my computer (it’s still in my office on my desk next to photos of Josh and Nolan) and it’s supported that devotion ever since. Having had chats with these people, too, that this was happening (that I wanted this to happen) completed the circle.
These days we have to stop and notice what we’re doing and cold turkey, start doing, not just something new, but something more important. And if you can get your family on that train, perfect.
Let’s get them — let’s get ourselves! — on that train and into deeper, more meaningful re-la-tion-ships…
Enjoy your business, enjoy your life!
Life is good,
p.s. How are you hiding behind virtual communication?