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coaching,  Life choices

It’s the way you say it

“When you give yourself permission to communicate what matters to you in every situation you will have peace despite rejection or disapproval. Putting a voice to your soul helps you to let go of the negative energy of fear and regret.” ~ Shannon L. Alder

Little red bird
Little red bird

When you listen to kids talk to one another it is always straight forward and coming from the heart.  What they think, they will say and mean it. Why not say what you think if that is what you mean. Most of the time they don’t even mean anything with it. It is in the moment and that are the emotions they share with you.  They don’t go out of their way to hurt someone else, but if they don’t want to play with another child they will tell you.  Even if the other child is standing right next to them.  Of course we as adults feel the pain of the other child or we think we feel it, because a lot of the time the other child doesn’t mind the remark at all. This kid might be very happy to get a straight answer and move on.  Of course with our good intention we teach our children to be nice.  This must be confusing, because we also teach them to be honest and not to lie.  Those two something contradict one another completely.

This is probably why we all learn to listen and read between the lines. We stop to really listen to one another and fill in what the friend is truly meaning to say. Or are filling in gaps that we think are there and maybe in truth they are not.  This a strange way of explaining, but it happens every day.  3 or 4 people are having a conversation and all of them have a different interpretation of what just was said.  Of course with intonation of words we are able to give emotions to our story’s. It is also important how the listener is interpreting the intonations and emotions. If your boss is not the kind of person to give out complements and she walks into your office to invite you to an important meeting. She really wants you to present you report, because it is well written. At the moment your boss leaves the office the interpretations starts and you are not sure. Is this a complement or is your report just to fill up the meeting, because there is not a lot happening at the moment? Wasn’t she kind of looking at you? Why is it not possible that she really liked your report and proposes that  you present the report yourself? Same thing can happen after a lunch with your friends. You ask if your friends had a good time. The responses are positive and you start doubting, because maybe your friends are just trying to be nice. Sometimes we look for clues that are not there.  What is wrong with us taking the conversation as it is?

Of course we have the tools to say the same word in many different ways.  This makes telling a story so much fun.  There is a difference between telling a story and having conversation of course.  One is for entertainment, this is a great way to connect with others.  With a conversation we connect in a different way with people. These are the moments that we connect with others and look for trust and honesty. It is important to be safe in a conversation.  That what is being said is trustworthy.  It helps us to grow and build on a steady foundation.  To have a open way of communication will help yourself and inspire other to do the same.

Where can you fine tune your conversations?

18 Comments

  • Teri Keele

    very thought provoking….I watch my 6 year old granddaughter as she learns to navigate thru this life and I love her honesty with conversations…..one of my pet peeves is someone in a conversation telling me what they think I want to hear instead of what they really think…..anyway…..good topic!

  • John Halderman

    It is our responsibility to communicate in ways that provide the receiver the best opportunity to receive our message as we intended, however, we cannot be responsible for how they choose to perceive and interpret it, as this is based on their perspective.

  • Cynthia Ann Tanner

    Great topic Renee, I know I have done that before & I’m certainly still learning about myself. I never really stopped & thought about how young of an age & how easily one learns to lie without even really knowing it. May just be one of the reasons I really have trouble talking to people, I also don’t like being told anything just because one thinks it’s what I want to hear but yet I have been known to do it myself. Thanks for the food for thought. Love & Hugs

  • Irena Vagner

    Cogito ergo sum; René Descarte proposed originally in French: “Je pense donc je suis”; and later translated in English: “I think, therefore I am” – seemingly sounds logical – but as one can imagine it steered a lot of controversy among philosophers and became the antecedents of the debate in the “pro choice/ pro life” dialogue. However, just for now – we can put this aside and leave it for a future conversation if deemed to be needed.

    As far as the rhetorical question “What is wrong with us taking the conversation as it is?” is concerned – in the nutshell – it might be due to one’s “lack of confidence.” Being knowledgeable about the topic of a conversation- one doesn’t have to question what others are or are not thinking about what one has to contribute. One doesn’t have to “compete,” long for “validation” – or want to “being liked/loved”…It’s o.k. not knowing and questioning everything – which actually can very much contribute and thus enhance the conversation – it may even clarify the answers to the question at hand…The artificially created or self-induced being self-conscious, fearful of not to being “correct,” “liked,” “accepted,” “validated,” – prevents us from acting naturally – selflessly while enjoying the conversation in the process and learning from it.

  • Udo Stadtsbuchler

    No matter how much we avoid ambiguity between words that we speak and our accompanying body language, no matter how careful we construct our sentences, it is always up to our communication partners how they interpret what we say. For example, if the male boss says to his female assistant that she looks really pretty and glamorous today, what does he mean and how does she interpret it? Does she feel that this is a very nice thing to say? Or does she scream sexual harassment? Or does she think that this is in lieu of a salary increase? Or is her reaction yeah, yeah, I heard that one before. Her response depends entirely on her interpretation, because she does not know what her boss really meant. Unless, of course, she asks for clarification. But can anyone imagine a conversation in which the conversation partners always make certain that they cannot be misinterpreted, constantly have to clarify, and make sure that the clarification comes across clear and unambiguous? It would be a quite tedious and long drawn out conversation, that’s for sure.
    The way we interpret events, experiences and also what’s being said depends on our personality. Broadly speaking a negative person when interpreting will always interpret negatively; and a positive person will almost automatically interpret positively.

  • Tempo Life Coaching

    Working with children all day, I know all too well about their honesty. There are plusses and minuses, of course :). We all look at life through our own lenses, lenses of hurt, disappointment, abuse as well as self confidence, success, happiness. It is at the point of those lenses that others’ words get interpreted (or misinterpreted). We are certainly complex humans, aren’t we?

    Great article!
    Carrie Hanson

  • Janne Henn

    I can very much relate to to what you say Renee. I know far too many people who cannot seem to just come out and say what is really on their mind. Sometimes you finish a conversation without really knowing what it was really about!
    I have had problems in the past with being a little too straight forward, I don’t mean unkind, I just mean, telling it like it is. Seems a lot of people can’t handle that. Consequently, we all learn to beat about the bush, hoping someone else will come out and say it first, so we can then agree with them. Sad, but that’s how it is.

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