Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Key to Good Relationships is...Less Communicating?

The other day, I told E, "We need to hang up - we're just making stuff up now." We weren't literally making things up, but we were making up things to talk about...bringing things up in the conversation that were inconsequential and irrelevant just to keep talking. E and I have been known to speak on the phone for hours at a time and often laugh about how much worse/better/more it was when we lived together - at that time, a quick bathroom break or a night of sleep would be just enough time apart to catch our breaths and come up with even more to talk about!

Lately, we've been having a harder time finding time to actually talk on the phone, so we've started leaving each other long voicemail long, I mean that the voicemail system actually cuts us off because we have "exceeded the time allowed..."

...and then we sometimes call right back and keep talking...

...for as many as 4 messages worth. That's about 20 minutes of voicemail. I like to blame E for this situation, because, let's face it, the girl can talk! But I am equally culpable for it and may, in fact, have started it, because I have a minimum 30 minute commute each way every day to work. I have tried to curtail this lately - I suggested we try emailing one another a couple of times a day instead - but you know it's gotten out of hand when you have to state that the RULE (as opposed to the exception thereto) is that you listen to one anther's messages when you can and that they are not important unless we text one another otherwise. The RULE is that our messages are not important. There's something wrong with that, right?

E's step mother once told her that "The key to any successful relationship is communication." Well, in addition to my original response, which was "No shit, Sherlock," I'd like to refer to the following:

Do Less communicating. Less talking, less yelling, less arguing, less emails and IM and Twittering, less phone calling. While I think communication is extremely important, and should be one of the keys to any relationship, I also think we do it too much. Especially as most of it becomes nothing but jabbering at each other, with very little actual listening. It is noise. Let silence into your life. Let stillness pervade our minds. When you do communicate, make it count, make it sincere, and more than you talk, listen. Make every email count. Only IM when it’s necessary. Spend less time on the phone and Twitter and Blackberry and iPhone, and more time with humans, more time with yourself, more time in the present.

[Emphasis mine.] This, from the Zen Habits blog, which I found by Googling "best blogs" and checking out Time's 2009 Top 25 Blogs. As they say in the film industry, "I have no notes." I cannot even think of what to add to that as it is a finer summary than I could come up with. And it fully expresses my opinion of Twittering - who wants to be Tweeted for God's sake with all the other electronic/media/noisy chatter filling up our lives already?! So, dear friends and readers, enjoy the silence.

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