What a mouthful – I know! In fact it’s not just a mouthful, these 3 Gs have a great impact or rather affect greatly our communication with one another. What one says and what one hears and perceives are often not the same – and often from it stems miscommunication and misunderstandings and what not!
I remember growing up, I couldn’t ever get away lying to my mother. In fact I remember times where I have planned out my actions thinking she would think I’m calm and not upto mischief but boy oh boy would she just zoom in right to what I’m up to. Later on in life I learned that my face registers all my emotions, that apparently flickers by the second! Naturally my mother was able to read them like an open book!
Gender differences, the personalities and traits make man and woman often filter what they hear through their wiring. A woman tends to be a nurturer and relational while a man tends to be the provider and protector and thus task oriented.. Thus their ‘worlds’ centre around those particular priorities.
Body language plays an important role in communication. In fact words contribute to a mere approximate 7% of communication while the tone of voice takes up around 38% while body language steals a whopping 55% of it. Having said this, men are not very good at reading body language while on the other hand women, given their maternal instincts, tend to zoom in pretty well. A woman is better at deciphering lies as a result of this.
“Body language is easier to fake with men, than with women,
because overall, men aren’t good readers of body language” – Allan Pease
“When a person’s words and body language are in conflict, women ignore what is said” – Allan Pease
In a nutshell, what a woman says it’s not necessarily how the man will understand it. Also, it’s not what a man SAYS to a woman but rather how he makes her FEEL! (Perhaps I will write more on that in another blog another time!). That’s a ultra short summary of gender influences on communication or rather miscommunication!
Our genetic wiring also influences our communication approaches and understanding. For example if a child is raised by a parent who believes in pride and not being ‘obliged’, the child mirrors the parent in not being able to ‘ask’ for help and rather be independent. During the process they take a superior role to those who are inter-dependent and frown upon those who are merely dependent on others. (I wonder who God is frowning upon while people are busily frowning upon other people’s choices and perhaps even ‘godly values’). Genetics plays a key role in our worldview formation and thus our communication approach.
Generational trends or culture play a great role in our communication. For example for a Westerner showing the leg isn’t of taboo but showing the midriff is, while for an Easterner it’s the reverse. No matter what you tell those who are immersed in their generational trends, they will call a spade a spade and argue that they are right and the others are ‘uncultured’ or ‘promiscuous’ or ‘wild’ …. the list goes on. A person of South Asian descent who were born and raised in these parts of the world would see a woman as a sexual object and thus have double standards. It’s okay for a man to insult a woman or sexually harass her or even use her, but it’s not okay for a woman to do the same. She gets ‘punished’ or ostracised if she dares to do so. Their communication evolve around their beliefs (whether right or wrong or perceived but is treated as gospel truth) and nothing can change that. People of extreme religious beliefs also would do anything to ‘protect’ their religion. We see that happening right now with those who are trying to implement the Sharia Law. They leave their birth countries, migrate to a Western perhaps Christian nation, and try to force their beliefs onto those nations even going to an extent of employing violence.
Miscommunication happens much by this factor of generational trends as we look through our coloured lenses which is made up of these various aspects from culture, to educational level, to exposure.
Yet there is GREAT news!
God asks believers, you and me:
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect -Romans 12:2
As we make a decision to not be conformed to this world and its patterns and trends, and when we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us into the transformation by giving permission to renew our mind and the worldview that was formed by gender genetics and generational trends, we increasingly become restored into God’s image. Whatever was tainted and tarnished by the worldly ways and the result of sin will gradually be removed and healed as we initiate this process and continue on in this. Then we learn which behaviours are of the ‘flesh’ and begin to clearly understand God’s good acceptable and perfect will for each of our lives.
We then increasingly communicate as a child of God not based on our genders, genetics or generational patterns
God doesn’t call us to be independent (depend on self). He has wired us as His body, with Christ as the head. He calls us to depend on HIM while being inter-dependent on each other… He makes it clear that we need one another and each part is equally important and valuable.
May we be communicators (verbally and non verbally) of God’s ways in ways that are pleasing to Him getting rid of all the worldly garbage that holds us back from running the good race He has marked out for us. May we be humbled and get rid of the earthly pride where we feel we are superior and may our communication as believers echo that!
We are the light of the world and we are the salt of the world!