The importance of proper communication


A very proper lady was planning a camping vacation for her Baptist Church group … She wrote to a campground for reservations. She wanted to make sure that the campground was fully equipped and modern, but couldn’t bring herself to write the word “toilet” in her letter.

So, she decided on the old-fashioned term “Bathroom Commode.” Once written down she still was not comfortable. Finally she decided on the abbreviation “B.C.” and wrote, “does your campground have its own “B.C.?”

When the campground owner received the letter, he couldn’t figure out what she meant by “B.C.” He showed it to several of the campers, one of whom suggested the lady was obviously referring to a Baptist Church since there was a letterhead on the paper which referred to a Baptist Church.

So he sent this reply.

Dear Madam:

The B.C. is located nine miles from the camp ground in a beautiful grove of trees. I admit it is quite a distance if you are in the habit of going regularly. No doubt you will be pleased to know that it will seat 350 people at one time, and it is open on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday of each week. Some folks like to take their lunch and make a day of it.

The acoustics are very good, so everyone can hear even the quietest passages. It may interest you to know that my daughter met her husband there. We are also having a fund-raiser to purchase new seats, as the old ones have holes in them.

Unfortunately my wife is ill and has not been able to attend regularly. It’s been a good six months since she last went. It pains her very much not to be able to go more often. As we grow older, it seems to be more of an effort, especially in cold weather.

Perhaps I could accompany you the first time you go, sit with you, and introduce you to all the other folks who will be there. I look forward to your visit.

Sometimes we just don’t do a very good job of communicating effectively. We say things that others just plain don’t understand or we don’t understand what others are saying to us. Sometimes when we are required to read between the lines, we don’t see that lines are there in the first place.

Some times we don’t tell the truth because to do so might  hurt other people’s feelings. Some times we have an ulterior motive in not telling the truth in the first place. We wish to gain something as a result of deception.

Some times, we are so careful with our words that we make our messages cryptic. Others just don’t understand. Some times we just stop communication completely leaving the other person hanging.

I feel sorry for this woman who is so bound by propriety that she can’t bring herself to ask a very simple question. “Does your camping facility have bathroom accomodations?” But that too might lead to problems if the owner thinks she is asking about shower facilities. Perhaps she should have looked in a thesaurus:  lavatory, lav, can, john, and privy are all words that communicate better than BC.

I sometimes don’t say what I am thinking. I kind of beat around the bush. Many times I’ll ask a question, the answer to which will determine if I will ask what I really want to know. It’s kind of like, if the answer is “no” then I won’t have to continue.

Perhaps it is because of my way of thinking. Introverts think differently from extroverts. Perhaps it is because, however irritating it might be, other people often step into my conversations and start speaking for me. Perhaps it is because I sometimes just blurt out things that are better left unsaid. Pehaps I leave unsaid things that should be communicated.

I will never be given an award for being “The Great Communicator”. That’s OK with me. However, I think before I transition to the next level of existence, I would love to be able to discover how to effectively use the art of communication to have a better relationship with people in general. Communication was not great with my ex. It isn’t so hot with my son either. My sister and I haven’t truly communicated in the past 60 years. That’s because the first three years of my life I was once told I spoke in my own secret language.

Do any of you have great communication going on with your friends, families, or other members of your community? Do you feel confident in that area? If so, maybe you could pass along a few hints. One is never too old to learn. At least, I’m not so reserved that I can’t ask if someone has a toilet! I can even ask in Spanish, “Donde esta el bano?”

Namaste. Attic Annie

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4 Comments

Filed under Casual conversation, diary, life, musings, Uncategorized

4 responses to “The importance of proper communication

  1. I don’t know how to tell you this, but …. you’re doing a bang-up job of communicating right here.

    I think the difference may be that it’s isolated from the other person (or, if those Flag Counter statistics are reliable, the other 18,000 or so people (I didn’t add it all up)) – neither side can read the other’s body language.

    I do a lot better at a keyboard than in a group (but it’s gotten a lot easier as I’ve gotten older – there’s a lot less to lose – or at least, it makes less sense worrying about it).

    Like most everything else is life, the trick is: practice, practice, practice.

    “… other people often step into my conversations and start speaking for me.”
    That sounds like what happens when someone speaks slowly – there’s a pause in the middle of a sentence, and the other person, impatient, fills it in.

    What about your friends – people you’ve known for a long time? Does conversation go more easily?

    • atticannie

      Give me a keyboard and I can communicate all day. I’m just not so good doing it orally. I have always spoken slowly. I learned recently that that is a common trait of introverts and how they process their thoughts. On a one to one with long time friends it goes easier but they too get impatient at times.

  2. Very funny link!
    Communication can be tricky. When I don’t know somebody well, it can be hard to judge how open I should be.
    My friend and I write our website together and we agreed at the outset that we would never beat around the bush. If we said something negative about work, or how the other was using IT, it wasn’t a critcism of the person, but the thing she was doing. This seems to serve us well as a mode of clear communication.