Do You Hear What I Hear?

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Ah, the written word. I love, and at times, hate the written word. It is a blessing and a curse. When we read something, we can hear it a few different ways. How do we hear what we read?

I’ve written encouraging notes before, and more often than not, they are taken quite well. I do remember one time, when I was in high school, I had left a note on a friend’s car. As they read it, they were highly offended. I could not for the life of me figure out why. I had written a Bible verse and told them it reminded me of them. Unfortunately, they didn’t see most of the note. It took some explaining on my end, and finally, we cleared it up.

Then there are times when I write that email. You know the ones I’m talking about. The “we have a problem and need to take care of it” email. This is especially difficult when that person does not live close so seeing each other face to face is tough to do.

And then there are the facebook posts. Sometimes, sarcasm is written to be humorous, and it is taken the wrong way. Other times, we have the posts that are filled with frustration, but instead of hearing the tone, we read the words as complaining, even though that isn’t what was meant.

So how do we deal with this? How do we attempt to use the written word in a positive light? I do have a thought or two. First, I tend to believe the best until proven wrong. Therefore, if I read something that can be interpreted incorrectly, I try to be positive about it. Second, I also do my best to talk to the person if there is a problem, either in person, or over the phone. Confrontation is not a joyous thing to deal with but it is good in the long run. Third, and this is where I can struggle at time, be careful of our tone when writing. No matter what type of media we use, whether it be for enjoyment or our jobs, we can do our best to make sure our tone is heard in what we write.

When we write, let’s do our best to be that blessing to others, even in the difficult times. Thoughts? Tell me what is the hardest thing for you about the written word!

Joi Copeland About Joi Copeland

Joi Copeland is married to a wonderful man, Chris, and has three amazing boys, Garrison, Gage, and Gavin. She lives in Denver, Colorado, but within the year, hopes to be living in Galway, Ireland. Find her on her blog or her Facebook page.


  1. Important points here! Getting the “tone” right is so difficult in emails, and yet it’s probably where we communicate the most. Misunderstandings happen so easily when someone takes our “joke” the wrong way or reads into the tone of our message. I like your point about giving someone the benefit of the doubt so you don’t create a problem where there isn’t any.

  2. Lori, this post was written just for me! LOL!

    I was involved in a misunderstanding with someone recently. I admit I was annoyed and I’m sure it showed. I wrote an email to the person, apologizing for being rude and offering a resolution to the situation. No reply.

    Thank you for helping me take a second look at my behavior and the manner in which my words may be interpreted!

  3. I find the most difficulties in email. You can’t “hear” the intended tone or how the sender intended the words to come across. Thanks for a post that makes me stop and think about how words can be taken.

  4. Thanks, Cherie! It’s a good reminder for me to be careful how I word things in email. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. So glad this post spoke to you! I am constantly trying to make sure my emails sound like my tone. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I’m glad you liked the post, Sally! ๐Ÿ™‚

Speak Your Mind