Defensiveness prevails in our society. Perhaps not at always at first contact, but say the “wrong” word and watch out! Experience shows me that it doesn’t matter what ‘kind’ of person someone is (or how kind!), or the beliefs, or even how ‘open’ one claims to be. Honestly, I have yet to meet one single person that does not get ever defensive. And I know a lot of wonderful, gracious people.
Because of this defensiveness, and because I want my blog to not only be read, but enjoyed (a.k.a “liked”), I sometimes try to write where I think my readers are (while also being true to myself). This is not possible, of course, because not one certain reader is ever, ever, going to agree with 100% of what I write (and that’s okay!). But due to society’s general lack of acceptance, we as a society have either decided that a) what we have to say is not important, or b) anyone and everyone needs to hear what we think.
Both points “a” and “b” can lead to loneliness, disillusionment, frustration. Insert your own terminology here! 😉
Our perception of words is based on our experiences of them. Have a negative, knee-jerk, gut-wrenching reaction to a word? Understanding why we have those types of reactions and listening to the meanings behind the words will ensue into more meaningful relationships with others. At the very least, becoming less defensive.
Looking past our perceptions of someone’s choice of terminology can enable us to hear/understand what that person is truly saying. Did someone just say “There is a big ‘ol honkin’ truck outside”? <gasp> Transfer that terminology to “…a large truck…” if you need to in order to continue offering your rapt (or not so much) attention to the person’s story. Did someone just say there is life on Mars? Guess what, there just might be. Chances are, our civilization has yet to learn everything. Or did someone just say they believe in the Big Bang? Or God? Or both? <gasp> So what? Hearing things that shock you or that you disagree with/do not understand/did not know does not make the one who said it ‘crazy,’ or ‘stupid,’ or ‘superior.’ In fact, being shocked can lead to more in-depth conversation and possibly understanding.
Terminology does not a person make. Listen behind the words. Hear the heart. Difference of opinion does not mean there cannot be friendship. Agree to disagree. Or discuss the why’s and what’s behind the thought processes and terminologies.
Here’s to growth and relationship! <cheers>
p.s. And to avoiding the extremes of points “a” and “b” above!
Conversation Agent – Language Lessons and 5 Ways to Ruin a Conversation