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I have been a tad side-lined, sideways and side-tracked lately. MS and upcoming surgery can do that to a person. Those who know me could and probably will add more “colorful” adjectives to describe me for the last month or so. If you see any cloud formations in my neck of the woods, trust me, they’re probably not normal clouds, but all of my latest brain farts. Each one, a particle of a thought or idea or an unfinished sentence all clinging together overhead. However, there is one thing that has not evaporated into the atmosphere, just yet. I need to tell you about it before it does.
A few days ago, I was made aware of a very intriguing statistic about person to person communication. If you are a “noticer” type of person, you will get this right away. 93% of person to person communication is non-verbal, while only 7% is verbal. Cool, huh? What a huge difference between the two!
Micro-expressions, hand movements, body positioning, eye contact, touch, etc. are the essence of our communication skills. Wrap your head around that for a minute. The best orators in the world can be lousy communicators and are probably not liked very much by those who have been personally around them. The sincerity of their 7% will always be judged by someone else’s 93% radar.
Do you feel comfortable talking with someone who is looking past you, down at their feet, head stuck in a cell phone, paper, television program or making any sort of abrupt body language, even if that person is saying “nice” words? I bet not. I don’t. I feel dismissed or unimportant. What did they say? Whatever it was, I’m usually not gonna believe it, become frustrated and my 93% will hear it as rude anyway. People from family members to neighbors to politicians to doctors to preachers can tell you they care about you, would appreciate your vote, they are concerned, the sky is blue or Jesus loves you with their 7% and if their 93% gives off conflicting vibes, the loveliest of words can turn to meaningless “blah blah blah” quickly.
Have you been around anyone and without them saying a word, left their presence feeling you had the most engaging and wonderful conversation ever? I have. I hope others have around me. I may stumble over my words, get tongue-tied, have major brain farts and not be able to complete a sentence at times. I hope my 93% makes up for that awkward 7%. I may be passionately speaking, wanting someone to understand at times. I hope my 93% enhances that 7%.
I’m not advocating over-analyzing every eyebrow lift, arm cross or bit lip of yours or of others. We don’t need to go all “Lie to Me” or “The Mentalist” , but it never hurts to remember how much of what we say isn’t said at all.
If I could see each of you in person and generously and sincerely thank you for reading “me”, I would. Perhaps, I can sometime. Maybe, I won’t be in such of a brain-fart cloud as I’m in now. I’m gonna be practicing my 93% so it matches my 7% and think it would be cool if you’d join me. As you notice, practice and go throughout this next week, allow 100% of you to be kind.