It’s not surprising that so many people are interested in looking more closely at communication, along with breathing, it’s the thing we just can’t seem to stop doing. It’s part of the flow of life. We are either expressing ourselves (speaking), receiving another (listening), or connecting within ourselves (aka talking to yourself…it’s okay we all do it).
Even when we sleep, our subconscious takes over and keeps up our nonstop expression in our dreams.
It’s inescapable, it’s everywhere!
How we communicate shapes our world!
(click on collage for a closer/clearer view)
Right now all of us have an internal monologue that runs through our minds. I think we all know the challenge it can be to keep it from meandering off into its well-known rants and rackets, analyses and evaluations, memories and musings, fantasies and daydreams, ponderings and plans. Maybe you are drifting off right now thinking about what order you’ll run your errands, or what you’ll have for dinner, if your friend is frustrated with you, how you look, what someone else is thinking about you. While we wander off in our minds, we always have the choice to re-connect to what is right now. Studying non-violent communication has taught me to remember that when I am communicating with myself or another, I want to consciously choose and re-choose (I forget, a lot) to make my intention, connection and my attention on the present.
Unfortunately our culture seems bent on dishing out disconnected drama, while clinging to the past for dear life. We have been overdosing on judging, blaming, manipulating with guilt, motivating with punishments and rewards, denying choice with demands, creating misery with comparisons, and denying responsibility for our feelings by declaring that someone outside of you can make you feel a certain way. Just think how often you hear “you make me feel.” We continuously see all of this behavior demonstrated in our own self-deprecation (wow, we can be cruel self-critics) and the repeated reactions and common responses we see demonstrated in every interaction between humans, both real and portrayed in our media.
Would you enjoy experiencing the liberation and empowerment of owning your feelings? Are you willing to consider that while you may provide a stimulus, including the ones I would describe as quite poke-y, you cannot make another human feel an emotion? (This does not include physical violence.)
Sadly, what often happens is that when we are “poked” with another’s judgment our reactive mind often takes over and we are sucked into the same behavior along with some unplesant emotions. How much desire do you have to hear out someone who uses grade school tactics and calls you names? “You’re a moron.” “You’re greedy.” “You’re lazy.” “It’s all your fault.” “You started it.” “I’m telling the teacher.” “You are going to get it.”
What I worry about is that if we don’t evolve out if this elementary method of communicating, we will perpetuate the existing torture trap of words and weapons between “us” and “them”.