There is a place for both written and spoken communication – obviously – and the times that I am best at writing are when I need to unwrap a tricky situation. Social settings require speech and while I can hold my own I’d rather write a stranger a letter than talk to them (hello! introvert present).
It takes more effort to write, it is a more thoughtful way to communicate. The privacy of a journal is important when a trustworthy friend is not around. The permanency of written communication appeals to the historian in me. Knowing how, when and where people were and what was going on for them, and me, at those times. I might not remember a conversation but the journal entry will evoke memories.
Spoken words can be fleeting, temporary, and sometimes uttered with little consideration. Other times they can be insightful, comforting and be a balm to a hurting soul, but they can be forgotten. There have been instances in my life when I have not heard a word someone has spoken because I have been distracted either by my own thoughts or their incongruent body language or voice tone. But then I remember too the way someone spoke a kind word in season that lifted me out of a dark place. I hope I do the same for others.
I like the immediacy of speech and that I can speak into a situation right now, offering a word of encouragement. While speaking is a social activity, writing is a solitary pursuit but both are important. Sometimes speech is my best way to communication and at other times I sit quietly and write myself out of a corner or into a more rational frame of mind and that’s powerful too.
How about you? Are you strongest when speaking? Or when communicating with someone through writing?