You Talking To Me?
By Art Ramsay, Ph.D.

 Communication between people is and has been a challenging activity for eons. We donít listen to each other, nor use language that is totally meaningful to the other person. It is the number one reason that relationships crumble and divorces explode. What is missing here?

 One aspect is that male and female genders do not communicate in similar ways. For example, the male may speak in terms of logic and rational thinking, while the female may hear from an emotional sense, and vice-versa. There are books written on this particular subject and seminars, such as Compassionate Communication that address the preceding subject as well as social communication. What I really want to address here is language; how we choose and use  words to communicate.

 What follows is based, mostly, on how Americans use the English language, but can easily fit anyone using English. The difficulty is that one word can have many meanings and nuances, which can confuse communication between two or more people. It is said that English is the hardest language for a non-English speaker to learn or interpret, because of this. The majority of the multiple-meanings aspect can be skirted as long as the context is understood.

In most relationships, however, the foregoing statement about context is completely lost. Therefore, words, and the way they are used in conversation, is paramount in understanding one another. We need to choose our words carefully and thoughtfully if we want to be understood. A consideration, not often thought about during a conversation is how will the recipient receive and understand my words.

 Without understanding, peace between people, between corporations, and between governments, is lost. It is no wonder that governments resort to war to settle their differences, because no one can understand the otherís point of view. Therefore, why bother talking? Just kill a few thousand people, blow a few cities to smithereens, and maybe the idiots will get what I meant.

 People in the modern world are so rushed. No one has the time to carefully choose their words to make it absolutely clear what they are saying. If you donít get it, you obviously werenít listening; tough. Peace cannot come through hurriedness or chaotic lifestyles. We must slow down first.

 In your next conversation think about what you are going to say, before you say it. Choose your words carefully so that they have meaning to the recipient(s). The contextual meaning of the statement and your words need to be in alignment with each other. Your next conversation could change someoneís life. It is that important.

So are you to pause in front of an important business client creating in your mind exactly words to use? Of course not. It is a matter of practice and discernment. Do you pause and consider each step before brushing your teeth or driving your car? I doubt it. Practice over time has made these activities habitual. Do the same for communicating Ė it is a matter of practice.

 Listening is the other half of communication; one person talks, another listens. Active listening is not often used in the average discussion. Our minds are either too busy thinking about all there is to do, or we are conjuring up a response before the other person has finished speaking. I have an exercise in my Inner Peace class where one person tells a partner about something that recently occurred in his/her life. The other person must then give feedback to the speaker as to what was heard. The speaker then accesses the feedback and decides whether the partner got the message.

 I am considering recording the entire conversations between partners so that I can play it back and let the speaker listen to her/his words too. That way the speaker can hear if the words used misled the partner and decide that the partner actually was actively listening. Or maybe both need work on speaking and listening, which is often the case.

 Another aspect of language are the words you use with respect to your mind and body. The medical establishment has (mostly) come around to admitting that itís all in your head. That is, situations that occur in your body, happen first in your mind. Therefore, the words that you think and say affect what occurs in your body. Many studies have shown through placeboes, double-blind experiments, and other research that your mind is what controls the show.

 It has also been shown that your subconscious mind, unlike the conscious mind, does not judge what you are thinking or saying. So statements like ďitís been going around, I guess Iím nextĒ or ďmy dad had cancer, Iíll probably get it tooĒ will most likely manifest into physicality if repeatedly stated. There have been books written on this subject. One I read years ago, Your Body Believes Every Word You Say brought that idea home to me very clearly.

 So we are back to language again but from a different perspective. The words you use to describe yourself, your body, your financial situation, and your relationship with the world bring forth their meaning into your life. If you describe your body in a certain way all the time, then your body will respond to that description. Your words are powerful, and they only follow powerful thoughts.

 It is especially important to clean up your act while nurturing your children. Since the subconscious mind takes in every word without judgment, the meaning of your words is stored and believed. Years later a young or older adult can have devastating results from misunderstood meanings of words casually used that now surface as a belief. The belief aspect is a whole subject in itself that I will touch upon in another article.

 One last thing about use of words. There are some very weak words we casually use every day that donít help us to get on with what we want but, instead keep us in a state of limbo. Some of them are try, hope, wish, and should. Think about how you use those words and whether they serve you or stop you.

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