Thursday, February 26, 2009

How We Connect

Photo today: Photobucket I got something new for breakfast this morning at my work cafeteria. I'd never seen anything like this before. It's like, a bunch of favorite breakfast things baked into a muffin! It was pretty good, but it cost $1.75, and I usually get $1.97 worth of scrambled eggs and hash browns. It's a breakfast bar and you get whatever you want and they weigh it. It's a game I play when I get breakfast at work, to get just enough stuff so that it costs $1.97. :) I have an old friend whom I love very much, but I'm constantly struggling with how I connect with her. You see, we're very different in how we want to be reached. She gets overwhelmed by email and the internet, and prefers to connect by calling on the phone. I love emails and the internet, and hate to talk on the phone. The latest episode occurred this week when I tried to coordinate a get-together in April between two groups of friends. When planning ahead like this, and between a number of people, I prefer to use email. It's less disruptive and people have time to look at their calendars and respond. What I didn't count on was that it took her 10 days to respond, after the other friends already responded the day after I sent my email out. Turned out all the dates that everyone said they could get together conflicted with each other. That was when I got frustrated with her again. I even sent the email to both her work and home email addresses. She's told me before that if I want to make sure she reads the emails, to copy her work address. 10 days. So I told her that the other friends responded with available dates first, and since she can't get together on those dates, I'd have to go with their dates. She was gracious about it, but I felt really horrible. I wasn't very nice about it. I was short with her. I think what really bothers me is my pridefulness in thinking that my way is the better way. I love the internet and can't live without it. I love how convenient it is to just shoot an email to someone to communicate. I can't imagine why anyone would not like the internet. It frustrates me that she doesn't like to communicate the way *I* like it. It becomes a test of wills to see who will cave in and email/call the other one. Then I'm reminded of what happened the last time I was struggling with this, back in January (see I told you it's almost a constant struggle, LOL). I distinctly remember that I was in the shower and getting really angry about it, when suddenly a Bible verse popped into my head from 1 Corinthians 9: "19Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. 22To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 23I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings." If I want to show my friend that I care about her and about our friendship, how could I not swallow my pride (and my habits) and try to reach her the way she wants to be reached? Basically, I can't let our differences get in the way of connecting with her. So, once again, I swallowed my pride and apologized. Told her how much I cared about her and our friendship, and that I was wrong and kinda mean. Via email of course. She'll read it, eventually. Really, I'm working on it. ;)

6 comments:

  1. Oh,I know how you feel! I get so used to instant communication that when someone doesn't respond I figure that they don't care or are out of the loop. :( I mean, even my mom is on Facebook these days...should't everyone be so up to speed?

    Don't be so hard on yourself...I'm sure your friend values your friendship as much as you do, even when there is a communcation gap.

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  2. The breakfast looks yummy. I love any combination of eggs, bacon, sausage and cheese.
    I totally understand your struggle with your friend. I have small kids and talking on the phone is so hard. When they go to bed, my time is so limited, taking time to make a phone call is a huge time investment.

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  3. I'm not used to eat warm breakfast at all, but that muffin looks kind of interesting. Great pic!
    Why doesn't everyone have e-mail and instant messaging! :) I even use my cell phone mostly for sms, but that have to do with the phone shyness I have.

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  4. That muffin looks YUMMY!

    I soooo understand what you mean about the internet. I loathe the phone and much prefer the convenience of e-mail.
    Thank you so much for sharing that Bible verse. I know that God communicates in many different ways and that verse really hit home with me today. I needed to hear it! :)

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  5. I struggle with this mostly at work. My job is to get researchers together for meetings - either on the phone or in person. Yes, I'm basically a science secretary.

    Every time I try to offer specific information over the phone, I'm asked "can you just email this to me?" When I email to ask specific questions, I get no response. When I remind them that I need a response, I'm told that I should just call. Argh!

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  6. Don't beat yourself up over trying to meet your friend's preferences. It's a bit unrealistic to expect someone to not respond to an email in a timely manner -- especially if you followed her request to send the message to two different accounts. I'm sure she isn't as upset since this must happen to her a lot if she doesn't like e-mail.

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