Chapter 29: Communication, Part 3Shining the Light on Ourselves


JOIN MICELLA PHOENIX DeWHYSE–GRAD STUDENT EXTRAORDINAIRE–AS SHE MAKES HER WAY THROUGH GRAD SCHOOL IN MATERIALS SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

Another month has passed, communication is still ripe, and it’s on the menu again. My own failures to communicate (and the failures of those I live with) have recently led me to move out of my roommate situation into my own apartment and true graduate-school poverty. How and where to begin. ?

In addition, if we can read others this way, they can read us the same way. The way we carry ourselves is another way we communicate things to anyone who pays attention … including things we may not have intended to share. And they get it wrong sometimes, too.

Proper communication, whether verbal or nonverbal, like it or not, takes a great deal of time and effort. If you’re not willing to put in the time and effort to forge a productive relationship with your coworkers and/or cohabitants, then you probably won’t end up with a satisfying work environment and/or home environment. Even if we put in the time and make the effort we still may get it wrong, but our chances of getting it right are better.

When it comes to communication, I’ve gotten along okay at work–no major disasters. Home … now that is another story.

Of course being explicit about your wants, needs, and expectations can be taken to extremes. Some people make sure that all their wants and needs are known to everyone and walk around expecting them all to be met. You know who you are, you “my way or the highway” types. This does not promote a great living or working environment. Sometimes compromise is necessary. Minor slights must be tolerated with finesse.

Effective communication takes effort. We have to be willing to put in the time required to understand others and have ourselves understood by others, in the lab and at home.

As for me, the situations at home and at school have worn me out. School I can’t leave yet, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Another home, however, has been found, and I’ll soon be out on my own–no one to share the rent or utilities, use up the mustard, or take offense at my unmasked, “I’m tired now,” face. Soon, the only captive relationships I’ll have to work on are the ones at work, and that’s enough to stomach until I graduate. Wish me luck folks, and good luck to all of you as well. ?

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