According to Kramer on Seinfeld, 94% of all communication is nonverbal. I “think” I’m conveying the right message with my words … but my eye rolling and looks of disdain portray the message differently. I think genuine tact is hard to achieve. It’s 100% onstage grace, patience, and concern.
Maybe the lack of the nonverbal in social media is a big cause of our societal separation? Meaning - maybe we assume a negative response on an innocent comment on social media. I know when I’m reading comments, the voice in my head reads it probably differently than it was originally intended.*
In today’s environment, “tact” requires different things. I was talking with someone the other day, and I said that we used to convey compassion by lightly touching someone’s arm or shoulder. (Nope - that’s not allowed anymore unless you have permission.) We used to make jokes or make light of a difficult situation. (Yeah, nope - especially on social media; if it can be taken the wrong way, it will.) Does that mean we can’t convey compassion? No, it just means we have to be respectful at all times …
For me - I’m going to try and be less sensitive. I’m going to start with believing that people have good intentions and are trying their very best to be tactful and respectful. I’m going to try and be more conscious of my own communication and less so of others … Space. Grace. And Patience.
*I remember a time 30 years ago, I was trying to compliment someone on their new hair style, and I said, “Oh, you look nice today … did you do something different?” Sigh.