• Barbara L. Ciccarelli, PhD

The Need for Expression

The connection between social roles and writing habits

Waiting for Results

Ever take a team roles quiz? I took one recently. The categories available were Driver, Analytical, Expressive, and Amiable. My highest, ranking category was Expressive. This made a lot of sense to me, especially recently, because my impatience was growing over lapses in communication between myself and a friend or family member with the ball left in their court. When I’m busy, these lapses aren’t noticeable, and the reply is just a welcome occurrence. However, if I have a bit of time on my hands the waiting period looms large and I start speculating. Is there a problem with the frequency, the length of the message, the relationship itself?

I took this quiz and it dawned on me that not everyone takes pleasure in expressing themselves. They could instead weigh heavier on the Driver, the Analytical or the Amiable or a combination of the three. In fact, they might not enjoy expressing themselves at all.

While we are speculating, we might as well add that they could as easily have a system for their communications as no system at all. What if their system includes replies once a week on a Sunday or even once a month.

Or maybe they are the type that isn’t hasty with documentation. Maybe they write immediately but then let it sit until they feel more certain about the contents of their message.

Maybe they just don’t feel like writing, and it has nothing at all to do with the sender.

These scenarios all have some merit; yet, it is hard for me to believe someone would not want to make their voice heard in some way at some time to a valued friend. Expression seems to be the activity of the modern day with the emergence of social media and the cultivation of one’s personal brand. Perhaps the issue then is that there is overkill now and the backlash is that people are retreating to privacy. Or maybe people are afraid their private image will contradict their public image or vice versa.

Where does identity come into all of this? Is it the negotiation between all of these modes of communication anchored by the “place” of the physical body or is there no anchor and just a buoy floating on wave upon wave.

Or are the messages more important than the senders? Can you detach the two. I’d like to think that the meaning is in the in between spaces. What happens between the you and the “I.”

Yes, between the you and the “I.” In fact, my expressiveness means nothing without it.

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