From the very beginning God made us to be social people. The ways we interact with other often varies greatly from person to person and situation to situation. No matter how we relate to people whether it is face to face, through various forms of technology or any of the popular social media sites our interactions have the possibility of disaster. Communication is a highly complex tool that even with the best of intentions is subject to misinterpretation and hurt feelings. Nothing can guarantee that all interactions will be successful but following several biblical strategies can give us a greater likelihood of a favorable outcome.
The first thing you need to remember is to have “A Heard Mentality”. I don’t mean we need to do everything in big groups. What I mean is that we need to hear other. Each of us long to be heard. It doesn’t matter if it is child interacting with a parent or caregiver, employee to employer, peer to peer or if you are interacting with your significant other. One of the greatest ways that you can show respect to another person is to hear what they are saying. Hearing another person requires your undivided attention. You may think you are the greatest multitasker in the world but I have a secret to tell you “You’re Not”. So, turn off the tv, stop the streaming video, pause the music, turn over your cell phone, do whatever it takes and look the person in the eye and so you can hear what they are saying. I promise the pain of stopping those devices won’t last long and maybe you will hear something for the very first time.
The next thing you need to remember is that “It Is A Buyer’s Market” What do I mean by that? We are often so worried about selling ourselves, our ideas, our point or whatever that we never think that sometimes we need to be in the market to buy. Just because it is a buyer’s market does not mean you have to buy every product or idea that comes your way but you should listen to what the other person is selling without trying to sell your yourself or your ideas all the time. Thinking about what people are saying, take a deep breath and evaluate it before you give a response. Don’t make your response something generic or a segway to turn the situation back to you. Ask questions and engage the person. If you can temporarily set aside your ego, your sales pitch or your fear of not being heard you just might hear something useful that can benefit both of you.
Lastly, when conflicts arise in social situations and they will we need to learn to work toward “Resolution instead of Retribution” It is easy when dealing with someone you know well to throw the hammer down and do whatever it takes to win the situation. While that may have a few short benefits for the winner it is devastating for the both people and the relationship long term. It seems that everywhere from the halls of our home to halls of congress we forgotten that we are on the same team and we are all apart of the human race. It is like we believe the only way to succeed in life is to bury the other person as deeply as possible but we make ourselves and others better and stronger when we work together for resolution. Yes guys, this may mean you need to take the first step to forgive and forget even when you don’t feel like it. Yes, ladies it may mean that you have to let your wrath go even if at times it is justified.
When we take time to hear each other, listen to each other and work for the good in each other we will have a greater chance to be successful in more and more social situations.
Praying this helps you move forward today.