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  • Writer's picturedennisharris04

The Art of Communication at It’s Finest

Updated: Feb 19

Are you one of those people who cringe a little when someone calls you instead of sending a text? It’s okay, I think a lot of us have had that feeling, not necessarily because you don’t want to talk to the person, but because we have become guarded with our time and how we want to interact. People are used to and want what I like to refer to as the cliff notes of life. Those come in the form of social media, text messages and any other technology driven ability that we now have as a society. Little quick messages about how everyone they know is doing and what things their lives are bringing them.

There’s a lot of good that comes from being able to get quick cliff notes from your favorite social media platform or a quick text when it comes to catching up with or keeping track of family and friends. It’s a lot easier to at least have an idea of what more people in your life are doing without spending a ton of time tracking everyone down. As someone who likes to write for many reasons like sharing insights and thoughts, it is always appreciated when you get feedback or even a small interaction about what you have put out there. That is still a little one-sided because the person is not giving you feedback in the form of a story, there is seldom a lot of back and forth. Writing needs new experiences in real time with in person interaction to help with true creative flow.

In Order To Write About Life, First You Must Live It’ - Ernest Hemingway

That is one of my favorite quotes and in the situation of communicating, I don’t believe reaching out online gives you the full experience that is needed to fully inspire you to write something that leaves an impression. I have always been a person that is very comfortable with spending time alone, but always knew the importance of socializing and interacting in person. The human need to spend time with people that are important to you, and the necessity of getting good at things like job interviews and developing real skills when it comes to meeting someone new.

I have never had a problem with public speaking, but have experienced social anxiety at different stages of my life. Some people find it awkward to be in a social setting, get nervous in interviews and can have almost overwhelming bouts of social anxiety. Learning the tools of how to navigate those feelings is where true character is forged, and like it or not, humans are social animals at our core. Social Media has made it easier for people dealing with those things not to have to deal with how they make them feel in person.

There is something lost in translation when it comes to text messages, social media blurbs and quick to read posts. You do not get the true essence and experience of the people putting those things out there. There is something important about learning how to read body language or enjoying a heartfelt laugh or smile up close and personal. The art of communication comes in many forms, like writing, but in-person interaction gives you something that creates more writing and gives a certain importance in how we tell our stories.

I think a lot of us are missing it more than we realize after two years or so having most communications not in person. I know I was and didn’t realize it until I took a trip for work back to where I grew up. About three and half hours away from where I live now.

I wanted to make sure I caught up with some family and friends, so I started off the week staying with family. The week started with dinner with my father-in-law, brother-in-law and a fun guys night. We laughed at some old stories and laughed at some new ones while sharing the latest from everyone. In person, warm, a laugh out loud good time. Conversation and communication the way it was intended.

A few days later I shared lunch with a friend who I graduated Law Enforcement Academy with, he was one of the instructors on the course I was there for. We grabbed a picnic table in the shade and laughed about how we used to split a small cup of coffee in a rush before the next class or assignment would start. We talked family and thoughts on where our careers were going, shared some more laughs picking up right where we left off.

As the week progressed I started realizing how important and how much I missed being in the presence of family and close friends. I could really feel a weight lifting that I didn’t even know I was carrying.

To round out the week I caught up with two close friends for dinner that I had grown up with and had many adventures over the years. We all live in different cities, with very different and full lives. We sat down and as we started talking and it flowed like no time had passed. There was a genuine heartfelt interest from all of us on what each was doing. A warmth that conveyed by all that each wanted to see that everyone there was living a great life. As the conversation went there was an ease segwaying into new topics and it is actually bringing a smile to my face as I write this thinking of all the topics we covered.

A good conversation is driven by good communication, nervousness stripped away, and comfort with the person or people involved. Each taking a genuine interest in the moment and happy to be there sharing and listening. The moment where time stands still and the conversation itself becomes like comfort food for the soul. Have that conversation accented by good food, and your favorite drink creates one of those moments that will stay with you as time passes. It is The Art of Communication at Its finest. Good writing hopes to capture those moments, social media hopes to emulate it in a fleeting sliver with eye catching images and a quick blurb.

There is nothing like in person and it is worth working through Social Anxiety and awkwardness to get to the point where you can start a conversation. Proper communication takes practice and the courage to put yourself out there on a real level. Hopefully you will experience the warmth of getting lost in a fantastic conversation with people in your life where you don’t notice the time passing.

Yes, a lot of people struggle starting a conversation, that is why the weather is always a hot topic and the go-to icebreaker of conversations. Go have dinner with an old friend or lunch with someone new. Art should always imitate life, create a good conversation and a new adventure for yourself.

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1 Comment

Bob Hale
Bob Hale
Jun 20, 2023

First off, I like this blog. Well done! You have provided some interesting and thought provoking comments. That being said.....

Your blog this week reminds me of three specific people when it comes to "the art of conversation". First off is a very good friend of mine that I have known now for the better part of almost forty years. He and I are old school mates and that is literally where it all began. Back then, we didn't have technology or social media. All we had was "two bits" in our pocket for a coffee at the local café, where we would spend countless hours talking about everything...and I do mean everything. Even after all the years tha…

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