September 16, 2011

This post is only slightly related to loss of my baby. I wanted to write something about communications. I write a little on my blog but I write many many emails a day to colleagues and students. I am getting the general impression that my emails are often misinterpreted.  I recently have received quite a few emails back from student s who appears to be hurt by my words or when writing a colleague feel like I am not explaining myself well. I accidentally sent an email intended for a colleague to one of my students in which I complained about the audacity of the student (who appear to me to be demanding certain things). That student was hurt and discouraged and I spent a good deal of time trying to explain myself over email. I can’t decide if my writing does not convey its intended meaning or if students are overly touchy when it comes to their emotions and their advisors. I know the students want me to respect and praise them but that can only be earned through hard work.  The student/advisor relationship is difficult to manage. I am pretty blunt when speaking to people. One of the effects of babyloss is that I have cut out all the chit-chat, all the extras because I feel like all the extra emotion and talking is too much. I know that my emails are quite terse also because I don’t have time to be effervescing with words. I already spend a least one to two hours answer questions over email everyday. I can not do much more than that. Recently, I was trying to patiently wait for a yoga class to start. The instructor was chatting with other people in the class. I was annoyed with the chatter and it was past time for the class to start. Part of that is a reflects stress, I don’t want my time wasted. This gets worse when I am stressed. Part of it was that they were blocking the quiet, maybe I was looking forward to the silence. I am not a great communicator. I barely speak to my family but talk to my best friend every other day. I try to communicate with Coach or else we both get hurt. My best friend tells a story about one time when she was livid with me. I kept my head down and continued to work as she talked. She said she was trying to explain to me how whatever I did hurt her.  But I was working and eventually she went away in anger. I don’t remember it happening.  I think I can safely say that I don’t intend to hurt people but it happens. I thought after babyloss that I had become more compassionate for people who were hurting. But maybe not, maybe I have deceived myself to make myself feel like something positive came from her death.

I am quite rambling now as I need to start working again but I can’t figure out how to end without sounding ….terse.

What are ways that you have employed to improve communications?


One comment

  1. Hard question. One of the immediate effects of babyloss for me was to simply refuse to answer the phone. I was an introvert before Emma died – now I’m ridiculously so. I just don’t like communicating at all really and I’ve not worked out how to get over that.

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