Brenda’s Blog – November 6, 2018
“Error message: your proximity sensor is not working.”
My go to response was “ignore it and it will go away.” Right? I got so tired of seeing the message, clicking for it to go away, and then trying to use the phone until it popped up again.
Finally, after weeks I thought… “what is a proximity sensor?” Searching for the answer I found a technical description which left me with nothing but more questions. Then I asked, “what makes a proximity sensor stop working?” Ah, ha! Helpful information at last.
“When a screen protector is incorrectly applied, the proximity sensor is deactivated.”
I immediately knew the answer – I installed a screen protector myself with no assistance. Even though it didn’t fit exactly right, it was a “close enough” job. Then the error messages began. I removed the protector and the messages disappeared.
People have proximity sensors, as well. We have what psychologists call “psychic space.” This varies from person to person and even culture to culture. We know when someone closes in and creates a social claustrophobia. We create barriers which send error messages to those who violate our space. We move, we fold our arms, we grimace – all as ways of saying, “Back off, you are making me nervous.”
How careful are you to read others well? How discerning are you when meeting new people? What do you do when the error message appears on the face of another?
Just like my phone drove me nuts when the repeating message which deterred the efficient use, we can miss the message from others who are saying, “I really want this conversation to work, but you are crowding me and creating a distraction.”
Effective communication results from well-developed skills used efficiently. The habit of reading people involves recognizing their space requirements and working within them to facilitate easy conversation.