“Why the hell did I say that?”
How often did we ask ourselves this question after having a fiery argument with a family member or close friend? How many times did we regret saying something bad in the heat of a moment to our parents or to our children?
Sometimes we say things at the wrong place and the wrong time when someone really strikes a nerve. And there’s no way to hit “Delete” or tear up a piece of paper. Consequently, a poorly chosen phrasing, excessive emotions, or weariness – all this can cause misunderstandings, conflicts and even bad blood between you and your loved ones.
On the other hand, we feel uncomfortable giving compliments, praising someone, or admitting how we feel. Sometimes it’s impossibly hard to say “I love you”, isn’t it?
In important conversations like this, one wrong word, and you end up forever explaining yourself, and what you were really trying to say. In better cases, after hours or days explaining oneself to each other, people come to an agreement. However, sometimes misunderstood words can become scars on one’s heart that never heal.
Parents of tweens and teens have yet another problem to deal with when it comes to difficult and emotional conversations. Not every situation can be explained on the go, and sometimes kids just don’t have the necessary life experience to grasp the true meaning of a conversation.
In situations when we can’t say something out loud, we write emails, letters, and notes. So why is it easier to put your feelings on paper, than saying it in person? The process of writing a message or a letter of 100+ words is entirely different from an eye-to-eye talk.
Why it’s Easier to Write Than to Say
- The other person doesn’t influence your thinking (by speaking or even by his or her presence), and doesn’t interrupt you.
- Writing allows you to take your time and organize your thoughts.
- You can make bullet points to bring up the most important issues and leave out secondary information.
- You can choose the right time to write the letter, being in the right emotional state.
- You can build the right logical structure of your message, find the right arguments.
- The fear of an immediate reaction or response doesn’t interfere with your thinking, especially if the possible reaction is anger or disappointment.
- When trying to figure out their emotions and thoughts, people often are advised to write in a diary. Conveying your thoughts on paper can help you getting out of the labyrinth, and maybe just by writing that letter you will figure out the problem you had, without even sending it.
- Sometimes, it just so happens that for the other person, for the one who will read this letter or note, it’s also easier to read it in peace and quiet, without being expected to give an immediate response, or without anyone seeing his or her reaction.
Apart from these reasons, which are fairly common for the most of us, it just may happen that some people were either brought up that way. It could be that it’s part of their character that they don’t feel confident enough to speak to others, or even simply express their emotions in words.
Also, a conversation can be forgotten or remembered incorrectly. In this case there’s basically no way to prove someone as right or wrong. Conversations may take unexpected twists that will distract you from what you wanted to say in the first place. A possible misunderstanding is very hard to resolve.
However, a written text can be kept for a very long time. The handwriting of a loved one can bring up many memories. If today your addressee is too overcome with emotions and not yet ready to understand your message, it makes it possible to return to it the next day, or in a week, or maybe even several years later and try to understand your point.
This is why we put all our efforts in storytelling for parents. Because every word matters, and what we say to our children may stay with them forever. Some say, modern technology makes us distant and tears children and parents away, but we use modern technology to make you a better parent.