My girlfriend and I embarked on a journey that would change our lives forever. We decided to forgo the use of spoken language for three months and instead, learn sign language. It was a decision that was not arrived at lightly, but one that we felt was vital for the survival of our relationship. Communication had become an insurmountable obstacle, a wall that we could not climb, and so we decided to tear it down and start anew.
The process of learning sign language was akin to learning a new language all over again but much more fun. We struggled at first, our fingers fumbling over the signs, our minds muddled trying to string it all together. But we were determined, and as the days passed, we began to understand the nuances of this new language. Soon, we were communicating in sign language. Poorly but enough to get by.
The decision to use sign language as our primary mode of communication also had an effect on our relationship with others. We found ourselves in social situations where we were the only ones conversing in sign language. It was an odd sensation, to be sure, but it also led to some of the most fascinating conversations we had ever had. Doing it It reminded us of one of our favourite TED talks of all times.
The greatest revelation that came from our decision was the realization that communication is not just about words. It's about body language, facial expressions, and the way one presents oneself. It's about the way a person holds themselves, the way their eyes flicker, the way their hands move. We had been so focused on the words that we had forgotten about the other aspects of communication.
One of the unexpected benefits of communicating through sign language was the increased physical contact in our relationship. Our hands were always moving, signing, and expressing, and as a result, we found ourselves touching each other more often. A simple touch on the shoulder to grab attention, a gentle brush of the hand to show affection, these small gestures became a natural part of our daily interactions. This increased physical touch brought us closer together, it was a silent language that needed no words, but spoke volumes. It was a reminder that communication is not just verbal, it's also nonverbal, and it's important to have both to truly understand and connect with each other.
Using Bond Touch bracelets helped at first as we had already developed our own touch language but ultimately sign language is a vast and rich world that extends far beyond simple touch.
Our decision to stop speaking and use sign language (albeit for three months) strengthened our relationship, opened up new worlds, and gave us a new perspective on communication. I'm not going to say it was easy, but it was rewarding. We would recommend this experience to anyone looking to improve their communication skills and strengthen their relationship.