“You’re a liar,” she says.
“Nope,” I say. “I’m an introvert. Just like Jane Eyre.”
“You talk so much though,” she says, eyes wide with shock. “You get along with everyone. You have so many friends!”
Now you’re the liar, I think, I don’t have friends. What are those? Also, you ignored my allusion to the best book ever. Our friendship is over. I cough a little bit into my hand to cover my disdain, and I lean back into the hard wood of my dorm room door.
“Have you met my roommate?” I ask. “Now, he’s an extrovert…”
I might not exude social prowess, but I like to think that when I interact with humans, everyone walks away happy – including me, even as an introvert. An outlier to this belief occurred last semester with my roommate. We both experienced a stressful week; he wanted to go to bed early to rest for activities during the day, but I needed to stay up to work on assignments I did not have time to complete during the day. Due to a silent disagreement about sleeping times, our conversations turned into monosyllabic phrases, and I tried to avoid my room as much as possible. We both felt tension in the air, but after a week, three magic words fixed it all: “Can we talk?”
Communication alleviates a lot of problems. In an age where people post indirect insults through Facebook statuses and use Twitter to throw shade all the time, legitimate conversation forces people to address their problems and come to a compromise. Through active listening and explaining what you want while balancing another person’s needs, you do not just ameliorate the immediate situation – you improve your overall ability to speak with empathy and confidence. Talking well lends itself to several areas of life, ranging from job opportunities to romantic relationships. In the end, everyone survives through self-expression.
I know it’s not that simple. Sometimes words come out wrong and miscommunication occurs. But actually talking – starting to speak with another person – creates a dialogue that may turn into something more. If someone refuses to compromise or to listen, another action might be appropriate, but a lot of the time communication lies at the heart of conflict resolution. When my roommate and I sat down to talk about our disagreement, we not only worked through the scheduling problem, but we grew closer and more comfortable with each other as a result.
I included seducing men and making friends in the title of this post
to captivate everyone and trick them into reading this post for no real reason for a reason. All of these activities include interaction with other people, and solid communication solves a variety of issues that burden human connections. No matter what, forming a clear foundation for the relationship – whether it’s deciding if you mind having guests over or establishing that you’re looking for a serious romance – can prevent a host of other problems from developing. When in doubt, talk it out.
Do you guys have any tips for living with a roommate or getting along with other people? What do you think creates positive communication? I know there’s a lot more to it, such as finding someone who sleeps at the same time as you or someone who has the same preferences in terms of partying, but I feel like a lot of those things can be addressed through communication. Perhaps I will write a more in-depth post about communication later on – I just wanted to give an overview of an act I find helpful in many facets of my life. On a side note, if you’re interested in my brief thoughts on “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut or Escape and Reverse by Chelsey Johnson, you can find those here and here. I hope you all have a great week!