Behind the Kwote: Communication 

1473207877848Dwight and I had just sat in the car. I plugged the aux cord into the top of my phone and turned up the volume. We needed to talk to his dad. The reason escapes me. I dialed the number before backing out. 3…1…3…

“Hello?” DG senior answered.

“Hey” I started.

“Hello?” he repeated.

“He-”

“Who is this? Do you know who you called girl? Did you dial the wrong number?” Then he let out a big belly laugh.

I looked at Dwight. Dwight cocked his head back at me and smirked.

“Oh he’s making a joke,” I said.

He nodded.

“Like I call so little that I must’ve dialed the wrong number.”

“Right. Right,” Dwight acknowledged.

***

“But,” I began a little later, “what’s funny is I could say the exact same thing to him.”

Dwight added, “So could I.”

Because you see, his parents don’t really call. Have they called in the past? Sure. Do they routinely call, like every Sunday at three o’clock? No. No they do not.

This seems to be common behavior, not just between my in-laws and my family, but also with people, in general. We complain that we don’t hear from friends and family very much, but how often do we reach out to those same people that we criticize?

Do you have this dilemma? Is there some family or friend you wish you could talk with more, but it just seems to be a challenge? Do you have a regular communication pattern? Let me know how you keep in contact with people.

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36 thoughts on “Behind the Kwote: Communication 

  1. Sorry to check this way, Kathy, but you’ve posted Black in America, and no matter what I click on I can’t gain access to read it. Did you by any chance change your mind about posting it? I’m just wondering why I keep getting a message that that page cannot be displayed. Frustrating!

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  2. Hmmm…..I suspect that the way technology has created all of this “interconnectivity” means that work and one’s business affairs spills over into the time we used to spend visiting people and chatting on the telephone. I’m not a huge telephone person and I know what its like to have a job that has you running your mouth all day – when you get some downtime you just want to be quiet. That said, I don’t text people to stay in touch; nothing takes the place of a real convo! I wish I could say that I reach out to certain people every week but I don’t. It’s more like once a month I just sit down and call people for a few hours, then I brush off my shoulders at the end of the day 😇😂. I have a good friend who lives in another state and we used to chat a few times a year but then we started watching “Greenleaf” and then we’d have a telephone date to talk about the latest episode for about 20-30 minutes every Wednesday. Now we’re doing the same thing with “Queen Sugar”!

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    1. That could be Leslie! I always see it like we’re connected in different ways now. The same way people stopped writing letters, and started calling more, now (some) people have stopped calling and started texting. It’s good that you take the time to even give people a call, though. Now, if you or anyone else wants to call and chat with me about Greenleaf, Queen Sugar, and my new fav This is Us, then I might actually pick up the phone 😉

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  3. aaaaaaarch, this is so recognizable again!
    Yes, the parents of my hubby almost never call spontaneously…only if they need something. Frustrated me a lot in the beginning of my marriage.
    My husband even told his mother, that she would lay down in her grave already , before we hear she had passed. Jeeeeeeeeeeeeez…
    Fortunately they both still are alive and I know make it a habit to check into them myself every now and then.
    My husband learned me something, since I always was frustrated by people not connecting to me back. He said “You contact them (family, friends), if you feel the need. Enjoy that moment.” Sometimes I have a wise husband, hihi

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  4. One thing I miss about working part-time (vs. full-time) is having more time to connect with family and friends. I think that social media has created the illusion that we’re connected, but let’s face it, a like or quick comment on Facebook is not the same as talking or getting together.

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  5. K, I’ll admit, I’m the worse when it comes to calling people. It’s not that I don’t think about them but I just don’t like talking on the phone that often. That said, when I do talk to my besties, we end up having a long rap fest until the next time.

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  6. In my case, I always speak to my parents for a couple of hours every week by Skype or phone, but my brother is harder to get hold of. He’s often too busy to call. I can’t really complain about it though, because as you mentioned in your post, these things are often two-way and I’m too busy to call him much too. I’m hoping we’ll get into a communication routine at some point.

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    1. Thanks! We ALL have to get better at it. Communicating, not communicating, accepting communication in whatever form. I just think we all need to be a little bit easier on ourselves and others, while accepting responsibility for our parts.

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  7. I always wished I had a better relationship with my parents. They live across the country and I feel so disconnected with them that every time they call, usually mom calls, it’s never just because… It’s because they need something…. Or maybe it’s because they miss me and don’t know how to tell me. But to be honest I don’t know how to tell them either…. So it’s a bit awkward. And I try so hard to not get annoyed with her too….

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    1. I haven’t seen you in a while Mrs. A! But I’m glad you stopped by. I think you make a very important point, “maybe it’s because they miss me and don’t know how to tell me.” This is everyone. It’s like we cover up all kinds of emotions with other stuff, when all we want to do is call and say, “Hey. I wish you weren’t across the country.” It’s hard for all of us. I’m certain that you’re not the only one.

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  8. Communication is two sided and I think with all our technological advances many of us forget this aspect. Take Twitter for example, it seems that everyone is talking but very few are listening. I must admit I hate the telephone since I spent a great amount of time on it when I was working. This drives some people nuts because they are of the belief that calling is the best form of communicating and maybe it is however I prefer and more often than not choose an alternative method like texting or email. There is one caveat though, when it seems like there is miscommunication by text I definitely pick up the phone.

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    1. Stephanae, I totally agree about Twitter (it’s like screaming into an abyss) and about the telephone. I don’t know who convinced people that this is the ONE and ONLY way to prove you want to hear from someone, but it worked and they’re sticking to it. I just mentioned to Joan that I almost prefer any other method. The only people I absolutely have to speak with via phone is my 90 year-old grannie and her 94 year-old sister, other than that…hit me up via any other type of communique. I agree about the miscommunication factor though.

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      1. Oh my goodness 90 year old grannie and her sister-how sweet. If my grandma were still here I’d do the same with her and it wouldn’t be painful at all 🙂. I think what adds to the miscommunication is when we fail to put ourselves in reader’s place and might come off with a harsh or other negative tone.

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  9. K E, thank you for this post. I just became aware recently how I can reach out more to the people I love, especially through phone calls.
    I stopped talking to my ex husband (who I still have a lot of love for), and what I realized is how much I still love his kids … and that I hadn’t been reaching out to them. So I am now, and it feels so good. I have a lot of love for Bruce and for his kids, and I am so grateful for the learning – and for you K E!!!
    Many blessings, and have a wonderful weekend. Congrats on another great blog post. Love them.

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    1. Debbie, I think that relationships are sooo interesting, so for you to WANT to reach out to Bruce’s kids is amazing to me. I’m sure they appreciate you and your love. Thanks so much for the kind words and love you and yours ❤

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  10. I spent twenty-plus years at a mostly phone job, so if I never called or answered one again, it would be fine with me. I prefer email or texts most of the time, because I can address them and answer on my own schedule. I think it can be hereditary too, though. I’m guilty, guilty, guilty of never calling, but my dad and his whole family are like that. Maybe it’s just how I’m genetically built? 🙂

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    1. I agree with you on the email, texts, inbox, viber, and I just added a new one called Marco Polo lol. I’m busy and I appreciate those who understand my busy-ness. Instant messaging is quite a bit easier than picking up the phone, dialing, calling, and holding a convo. That requires time and patience. No judgment from me…I understand. I don’t know if it’s hereditary though Joan lol

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  11. I am a random texter and caller. If you pop in my head, I’ll let you know. Because, hey, you never know. I don’t really care if I’m the only one initiating the contact either.. now if I never get a response, that’s another story.

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    1. kelley!!! I’m glad to see you here. I’m not so random…still got a bit of Type A in me lol, but if you do roll across my mental, then I will reach out. At this point, I don’t care if I’m the only one reaching out. Definitely understand if you never get a reply, though…that’s a whole nother post lol

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  12. What niggles me Kathy, is what if you are the only one calling? Sometimes you just get fed up of always being the one who tries to keep in touch. This ties in with your “releasing expectations” post. There are some people who never put in enough effort to keep a relationship going and it can lead to all sorts of hurt feelings and animosity. There is no real “fix” to this situation. You either lump it or like it. I’m probably coming across in a negative way, but I, personally have got to the point where I feel that if someone isn’t that bothered about me, why on earth should I stress myself out about them? I suspect this might not be the kind of answer you expected when you threw out the question! 🙂

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    1. Hey Marie! That question is absolutely fine because I’ve been on either side of the equation 😉 First, I think about why I’m calling that person in the first place. Is it out of some so-called obligation, or is it because I honestly want to know how the person is doing? If I want to know how the person is doing and calling is the way to find out, then I continue doing it and release expectation from the other person. S/he may never call for a bunch of reasons, and because I control me, all I can do is keep calling (if I want to) or stop and be at some sort of peace with the outcome. I guess you’re right. You either “lump it or like it” lol

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      1. So true what you say! I find that the people you have the most problems with when we’re talking who calls who is: it always seems to be the person you feel obligated to call. If you think about it, when you have a really great relationship with someone, there is never the question of who calls who and when calls are made: things are pretty equal and the relationship flows. It’s only when you feel that there should be a better relationship or you question the validity of that relationship that you feel irked if the other person doesn’t give as much as you think you deserve. So I guess it really boils down to how much value each of you places on the relationship and sometimes sad to say, not all relationships/friendships are equal. I feel like I’ve written a dissertation here! 🙂

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  13. I’ve always been of the frame of mind that if I want to talk to someone then I’ll initiate. I know some people that get explosively upset when they don’t hear from someone and then even more irritated when you suggest that the phone dials both ways.

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    1. Today, I am that person. I used to be the person who scheduled calls and made sure I checked everyone off the list, but no more. If you come across my mind, then I’ll text, inbox or reach out somehow. I still have people in my life who believe if they don’t hear from me, then we must not be as close as they thought…and it’s a shame cause I can’t convince them otherwise.

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