Thursday, December 3, 2015

Guilty as Charged - Misdemeanors of an Electronic Kind

I woke up on "guilt" this morning and I am not even going to put words to my thoughts because I know the only way to rid myself of guilty feelings is to act. The moment I take action or talk my way through, the thoughts will lose their power and this will become one of a million non-events in the history of my thoughts.

I hate knowing I've done wrong or could have handled a situation ever-so-much better. Because the moment I hear the other guy's perspective, I feel defensive. I feel like I am the one who has been wronged when I start defending my actions.

I hate waking up in the middle of the night feeling an unresolved conversation playing out in my mind. As much as I tried to talk myself down, reminding myself I will forget this feeling as soon as both parties have had a chance to talk, I couldn't rid myself of the thoughts that kept waking me up.

In the old days, a person would have had a two way conversation on the phone or in person. A minor little non-event or misunderstanding would be lost in the events of the day because both people would have had a chance to speak and listen and resolve the emotions-of-the-moment on the spot.

Nowadays, a person can send a text or message or email to voice a concern. This has its benefits because you have time to weigh your thoughts and your words carefully and "without emotion" (this is debatable because sometimes the words chosen do not depict the reality of what you are trying to say).

Then the other person can respond in kind. Or ... (and why didn't I think of this last night??) one could still always pick up the phone and chat. Just to clear the air and have that interplay of words without trying to read between the lines.

As I said, the "event" is really nothing. The "feelings" are what are bothering me. I responded to the query and didn't receive a confirmation of "It's okay" in return. You sit in cyber wonderland and wonder if your words were received in the manner they were sent.

Mom is right again. This whole "texting" and "messaging" and non-personal, non-interactive generation could so easily go down the tubes. Just because of a few ill chosen words. You really have to know a person to communicate without the aid of body language and all the cues you get when you listen to the inflection of a person's tone. Smiley faces and "laugh out loud" notations just don't get the point across well enough (especially when a person thinks LOL means "lots of love" and sends a "LOL" message after hearing someone's bad news) at times.

This whole non-event should have been a three minute conversation. One where you see the other guy's smile or sheepish look when they have done something another may have misunderstood. One where the other guy had a chance to respond and offer the chance for further clarification. One where a minor little thing (I am probably the only party who lost sleep over this, but then again maybe not - otherwise why wouldn't there have been that smiley face or thumbs up or "It's okay" message to tie up our virtual conversation?).

A little thing has become bigger than it needed to be. I am equally responsible for things unfolding the way they did. Thus, my guilt.

[Insert sheepish grin here]

I know it will be okay. I know it without a doubt. I just need to hear the other side of the conversation.

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