2.16.2006

WORDS ~ what are they good for?



Words can empower us, explain things and free our minds of years of pent up pains.

Words can also threaten, belittle, instill and impose fear into the hearts and minds of others.

Over all these years of developing and using the spoken and written word, still, we mere mortals underestimate the effect it can have on the people we are speaking/writing to under the guise of communication.

Considering that words can lift a person’s spirits or cut them to the quick, we throw them around, words that is, willy nilly, happily reveling in the sound of our own voices.

Concentrating on our next verbal strike and score without paying mind to whether the last verbal onslaught has furthered understanding or confusion, built a bridge or blew one up.

I have learned that asking questions in differing ways can result in differing results.

For instance, with my son, I learned a long time ago that asking, “How was school today?” gets me an answer of, “Fine.” However, if I asked, “What was the funniest part of your day today?” got me what can lead to a 40 minute animated discussion of all sorts with him.

Mind you, he’s now 16 and with each new growth and change, you have to change the questions up.

Now a question like, “What or who pissed you off at school today?” produces that same animated discussion period.

Can you also see how changing, “What were you thinking?” to, “Can you explain to me why you thought that was okay?” or, “How can you…” to “Why do you…” might actually elicit an explanation from someone rather than a defensive counter attack?

So that although at the end of the day you may still disagree, you may also have a greater understanding and appreciation for why and how someone thinks and believes what they do.

Here’s something to think about, eliminate the word, but, from your conversations.

Why?

As soon as you use it, you disqualify everything that you just said before it.

It has a totally different effect when you put a period where the, but, would be and start a new sentence.

As an example;

“You did a really great job of clearing up the garage, but couldn’t you also tidy up the recycling area?”

Becomes;

“You did a really great job clearing up the garage. Could you also tidy up the recycling area?”

See the difference?

Of course in order to do so requires some thought and effort on the part of the speaker. It forces you to stop think and take a breath.


Ah, that is a problem isn’t it?

We have grown use to projectile vomiting our opinions and thoughts out there before someone else has a chance to speak, stepping on someone else’s words, becoming loud and abusive as if having the last word, makes us somehow right and, mistakenly, more important.

Easier to lash out at what seems like someone’s attack of you rather than take the time to question whether or not that was indeed what it was in the first place.

Otherwise you wouldn’t have enough time to turn around and verbally bitch slap the next person in line.

To hell with understanding and respect for a differing point of view, it’s all about I’m right, you’re wrong, making points and keeping score.

We cover aggression and ignorance with, “I tell it like it is, if you can’t handle that…” and other such crap.

Physical bullies have evolved into verbal bullies.

Bullies all the same.


posted by Angel @ 2:40 AM |

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