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Jan 10

Sending Messages with your Actions

You’ve heard the saying that actions speak louder than words, and this is often true.  However, it’s also true that actions themselves are, in a way, words or messages to others.  What do your actions say about you?  What do you want them to say?  It’s important that the messages we want our actions to convey are actually received correctly.  Sometimes, they can get a little jumbled and the other person gets the wrong message!

So how do you make your actions say what you want?  First, think carefully about what you’re going to do and what you want to say.  If you just want to say “thanks,” you might not need to make any over the top gesture.  A smile might be enough.

Flowers are a great way of saying “thank you” when a smile isn’t enough.  They can also say “I’m interested in you” or “I love you.”  However, you’ve got to be careful they don’t say too much.  Red roses, for example, are usually used when your message is about love, not friendship or gratitude.

A meal can also say too much.  If you want to show a friend how much you appreciate something they’ve done, you might want to take them out to lunch.  However, asking someone out to dinner, even if your intention is just to thank them for something, may imply that you want more.  Dinner means romance.  Asking someone to go for drinks or for coffee, likewise, may imply a bit more than you’d want.

It’s also possible for our actions to say things we certainly don’t mean.  For example, giving someone chocolates when they’re trying to lose weight or when they are on a restrictive diet may hurt their feelings or make them self-conscious.  Having a bad day can result in actions that hurt others, too, so it’s important that we always be aware of what message our actions are sending.

Of course, the opposite can be true, as well.  Being in a great mood can be infectious.  The actions of smiling, laughing, and being in a good mood can send a great message to others.  It can even spread your good mood!

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