For many of us who are out there using Social Media, sharing our lives and thoughts with others, we have a tendency to communicate the same way in print as we do face to face.  This is usually a good thing because the messages are received as if we were there.  It’s an easy way to connect our readers, sometimes on an emotional or spiritual level.

However, we need to be careful how and when we communicate when it’s not face to face.

Here’s why.

Timing is everything.

  • Stress changes the way we receive messages
    • Depending on the person’s stress load or stress tolerance even stating the obvious could be a major source of irritation.
  • Written messages via (facebook, text, instant messenger, emails) to a friend on a really bad day/week might be misinterpreted.
  • Verbal messages are a little easier to deliver.  You might change how you share the message based on how they’re feeling that day.

Some examples of bad timing

  • An unemployed family member or friend
    • “You really need to get a job”
    • “You need to look harder”
  • An underemployed family member or friend
    • “You really need to get more work”
    • “You aren’t making enough”
  • An already stressed out and overextended family member or friend
    • “You should be spending more time doing (Insert activity here)”
    • “You should be doing more (Insert activity here)”

Suggestions to remedy this situation

  • Be aware of the receivers condition before you communicate.
  • Avoid using the word “You” with stating the obvious.  It can be taken as an accusation that they aren’t doing enough.  This results in increased stress.
  • Be helpful.  Is there anything “I” can do to help you?
  • If you use sarcasm in your communication, I NEVER USE SARCASM ;-), reserve it for when you’re face to face.  You might avoid “eating crow”