Oh, there has been a sad falling out my family; a deep and painful rift between two people who have loved each other and been very close for more than forty years.
Now, I'm not going to give details because it wouldn't be fair; and thank goodness that rift is on a fair way to being mended, but there is a very definite culprit here: the email.
There is a formality to writing a letter which leads to a more measured expression of our sentiments. With a telephone call, there is the tone of voice to add expression to our words. In face to face communication we have body language and eye contact as well; all of which help the communication process.
But we tend to just dash off that email and push the send button without properly thinking through how it might be taken by the recipient.
So when there is a lack of sensitivity on one side and an excess of sensibility on the other, it's a recipe for misunderstanding, hurt feelings and a decision never to talk to the other person ever again (or at least until next Thursday week, anyway!)
I'm sure we have all heard (and possibly used) the expression "Sticks and Stone may break my bones but words will never hurt me!" And most of us would admit that it's not true, because words can hurt far more deeply than physical wounds.
The email can be a pretty blunt instrument.
So my encouragement is to pick up that phone whenever possible and actually make voice contact. If you work in an office with someone, why not walk over to their desk? If you want to send a thank you note, then write a card and expend some pennies on an actual stamp, so that the card will be delivered by a uniformed servant of the Queen: it will mean so much more.
And seeing an actual smile on someone's face is worth a thousand smilies. ☺
A Moodscope member.