Tag Archives: friendship

April 2018 Header

How Do You Like to Communicate?

If we want to develop strong, life-giving relationships, we must communicate with each other, right?

Sounds so simple. So straightforward. So easy. Or not.

For many genPhoneerations people had three main ways to communicate with each other: call on the phone, send a letter, or get together and talk one-on-one.Mailboxes

We now have at least a dozen ways to contact friends and colleagues.

We can still call on the phone, send a letter, and get together in person. But we can also contact people through a text message, a Skype call, a FacetTime call, an email, a Snapchat photo or video, a tweet or direct message on Twitter, a post or message on Facebook, an individual or group instant message on Slack, a message or post through LinkedIn; a message or post on Wattpad, a message or post on on Goodreads, a comment or message on Pinterest, a video message on Marco Polo . . .

I wonder if all these tools actually make it harder for us to communicate. You might really like to text. Maybe your friend prefers Snapchat. These days we have to work hard at figuring out how best to communicate with the people that matter to us. And then we have to communicate. :)

Recently a friend of mine introduced me to an app called Marco Polo (https://www.marcopolo.me) that lets participants leave short video messages for each other. You can then watch the video at any time, and it doesn’t disappear as do videos on Snapchat. When my friend invited me, I muttered to myself, “Not me. I’ll never use this App.” I would MUCH rather send a written email or text—something I can think through carefully and edit several times so that I don’t say something hurtful or stupid.

But then I started thinking about the friend who invited me. She said she enjoys communicating this way. Perhaps she likes it better than emailing or texting. Go figure! And I like my friend and want to stay connected to her.

So . . . I downloaded the app and sent my friend a video message. (The Chief Furry Officer made a guest appearance.) It took me several days to realize that my friend had sent me a video message in return. Clearly, I’m still learning how to use this app! But when I opened her video, I just smiled. What a delight to see the face of my friend in addition to hearing her words. :)

And then I discovered that two twenty-something friends had also sent me video messages. So wonderful to see them and hear their voices again, even if it wasn’t around our dining room table.

My point?

I’m glad I stretched my communication muscles a bit and tried Marco Polo. It turned out to be fun. Because we are all wired so differently, we, of course, have different communication styles. I need to remember that and keep stretching my communication muscles. What about you?

Cheering you on as you communicate and grow your friendships!






Friendship Starts with C


Yes, I do know how to spell. And, no, I’m not having a “senior moment.” But I did recently discover a fun list in a book (Friends of the Heart: Growing Friendships that Last Forever by Emilie Barnes and Donna Otto, p. 26) that connected friendship with the letter C. Just can’t resist sharing some of these C words with you.

Caring, Catalysts, Celebration, Cherished, Chocolate, Chumminess, Coffee,

Collegiality, Comfort,  Commonality, Communication, Concern, Connection,

Consistency, Continuity, Contribution, Counsel, Courtesy

Perhaps one of those words jumped off the page at you. I landed on the word collegiality. Word-nerd that I am, I love the way it sounds as it rolls off my tongue. And I love that I had to look up what it means because I don’t use it every day. Here is what I discovered from yourdictionary.com:

  1. the sharing of authority among colleagues
  2. the principle that authority is shared by the pope and the bishops
  3. considerate and respectful conduct among colleagues or an atmosphere, relationship, etc. characterized by this

I can’t pretend to have the expertise to address the authority shared by the pope and bishops, but I do want to muse a bit about the definition of the word collegiality as it relates to friendship. I must be all wrapped up in words because I immediately think of two of them that help clarify the meaning of collegiality by defining what it is NOT.

A collegial (considerate, respectful) relationship between friends seems to leave no room for another C word: Competitiveness.

Collegiality suggests, “Let’s build something, do something, together” rather than saying, “Let’s both do this and see who can do it faster and better.”

A collegial (considerate, respectful) relationship between friends also seems to leave no room for another C word: Control.

Collegiality suggests, “Let’s talk this through and come up with a solution we can both embrace” rather than saying, “You need to do this my way. It is the best way.”

Enough of the word-nerd musings. Let’s make this practical. What does collegiality look like in flesh-and-blood relationships?

I think back to my days of sitting at my mother’s bedside and watching her “700 friends” surround her in her last days on this earth. They did not need to prove who cared for her best. They did not demand to run the show and tell doctors and family what needed doing. They listened to Mom and tried to honor her desires. They listened to me and my brothers and tried to honor our wishes for mom in her dying days. They made dying a group effort—a beautiful, choreographed dance of sorts.

No wonder I’m drawn to that word: collegiality. I lived it.