Boy on tin can phone listening to curious good news

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Communication is Key! (Part 1)

Mark Griffin, M.E., Blog Writer

Too often here at Woodruff Family Law Group, we encounter families who are splitting up, often in the aftermath of a breakdown in communication. Once a family is no longer able to effectively communicate with one another, it is just a matter of time before even simple matters must be adjudicated with the help of our legal team.

According to an article in The Huffington Post, lack of communication is the number one reason couples split up. Communication in dysfunctional families frequently involves lots of screaming,verbal threats, and all too often, physical violence.

When communication breaks down with the ones we need to communicate with the most, the frustration becomes overwhelming as we desperately seek to be heard and understood.  Ironically, the more we try to make ourselves understood, the less likely it is that our message is being absorbed by our intended target. When it becomes obvious that our calm and rational words are not enough, we escalate to louder tones. The communication we receive in response tends to rise to meet or exceed our level of agitation. Soon, we are screaming at each other in a blind rage. Ironically, the deeper our love is for one another may actually raise the intensity level of the arguments.

Like most North Carolina public school teachers, I have a second job. My boss, Carolyn Woodruff, the founder of Woodruff Family Law Group, is committed to helping families cope with the modern struggles of today’s society. My summer job allows me to research the root causes of family disintegration.

Throughout the years, Woodruff Family Law Group has been a leader in community outreach. Since 2011, I have enjoyed representing the firm at several charitable functions. I have seen first hand how committed Carolyn Woodruff and her unselfish team are to helping families in our community.

Two weeks ago, on a beautiful Tuesday morning, I was riding my beloved 2003 Harley 883 Sportster to my teaching job. As I glided through the scenic back roads of Rockingham County, I forgot all about how to help my students prepare for the upcoming math EOG exams. Under my full face helmet, passing cars were unaware of the smile on my face. I became lost in the vibration of my mighty Harley engine as the wind seemed to propel me effortlessly towards Reidsville.

Nearing the end of my morning journey, my lips tightened as I approached the notoriously dangerous Freeway Drive and Park Street Intersection. I anticipated facing a red light, so I geared down and let the engine slow my roll to under 10 mph. My joyous smile returned as the red light turned green and I opened the throttle and entered the intersection. Unfortunately, the driver of an SUV also entered the intersection and, failing to signal or yield, turned into me, ended my motorcycle riding days, and nearly took my life.

I’m writing this blog from my hospital bed as the dedicated team at Cone Health mends my broken body. Luckily, my spirit was not nearly as broken as my body, and I got to know Angela, my Rehabilitation RN. Angela went far beyond her job as Charge Nurse and Assistant Director of the Rehab unit. She took the time to really get to know my family and me. She also took the time to offer her unique insight into family communication, which inspired me to write this series of blogs.


Communication is Key

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4


by Mark Griffin, guest blogger.