Monday, April 12, 2010

Dissed. Micro-messaged. Or Worse.

A micro-message is a non-verbal behavior or action that subtly tells me, "You don't matter as much as this other person or thing." Example: we're talking, someone walks by, and you scurry off in mid-sentence to talk to the new person. Or I send you a text, you reply you'll call later, and you don't.

This has happened to me twice in the last week. I guess the actors could be really busy. Or have attention-deficit disorders. I'd like to believe the perpetrators aren't even aware they're doing it.

But I think they are.

How do you respond? One of my colleagues works on Oprah's 10/10/10 rule: will this matter in 10 minutes? Ten days? Ten months from now? If not, maybe you should let it go.

But I believe relationships matter. If you cannot conduct or complete a face-to-face conversation -- not via email, voice mail, or text -- then perhaps you have broader relationship issues. I just don't think it's burdensome to conduct a 10-minute conversation.