Monday, December 27, 2004

Communicating: From Mouth to Ear

A rather subtle and obscure lesson faces us every day. We all come across it: Every message has several components. These include: the intent of the message-giver, the natural distortions and multiple meanings of words, and the interpretations of the receiver. These vary all over the place. A person seeking to be attacked, even for subconscious reasons, will find that everyone is attacking her. A person seeking praise will also find it everywhere. So will a person who looks for Love.

We have limited choices. We also are unable to express with crystalclarity. We also are equally unable to interpret everyone with similar lucidity. So, I choose to give people the benefit of the doubt, the widest latitude. Unless they make it undeniably clear that they mean otherwise, I try to accept them as doing their honest, loving best! It makes it a bit easier to live in this "crazy" world with sanity! So, coat everything with sugar, and manifest the most loving, gentle, tender, soft, compassionate, empathic responses that you can devise. Misunderstandings will still arise. For no matter how clearly you express yourself, the capacity to misunderstand and misinterpret is still greater!

The lesson is to minimize crossed wires. Yes, "neutrality" is not the answer, as it is often mistaken for aloofness, irresponsivity, apathy, or complacency. So, it often comes across as unconcern, or even hostility. It's a bit too "vulcan" for the average human being.

What people want, and often demand, is that you "take sides" and be on their side, even if there is no objective reason for you to do so. It becomes a test, not of the reason or validity of their position, but of your loyalty. And it is just easier to play this game, and soothe their feelings, than to try for supreme or consistent logic. For people pay lipservice to reason, but that is never how they run their lives. Great lesson!

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