The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

A gentle reminder

The last few years saw some changes in our communication. It is most certainly the result of people acknowledging that written communication doesn’t provide for any body language to be visible. Written communication thus lacks quite a bit of the context information available when people can talk face to face.

Consequently, people started to search for ways to make these emotions, moods, and intentions somehow visible through the chosen wording.

However, what is happening is that it is a selective approach as it focuses on describing things kindly. It is transforming communication by using what I would call “softener.” The words added seem to seek to soften how one will be perceived by others. But what this also does is to create a sense that without these additions the request might be perceived as aggressive.

It changes communication as a whole with a move that represents a shift in attitude.

When the world around us is filled with noise, among which there will be demanding marketing, people start to worry about the way their messages will be received. They become anxious about the way people will react and thus try to make the message more receivable and softer. It is a way of protecting oneself from others and disappointments in the relationship.

The focus of the writer is on his anxiety, and what appears in the subtext, is that adding softeners delivers a signal that accountability and responsibility are optional. It is an exchange within a relationship that doesn’t build on such a social contract.

One could argue that the writer was humble. However, the more it is used, the more it becomes a norm. One that makes it difficult to discern humbleness and respect where it exists.



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