Wednesday, August 23, 2006

But.. I didn't mean it like that!

We've all said things that have been misinterpreted and misunderstood.

Verbal communication is a rough science. It is not an easy thing to communicate so clearly and coherently that our exact intention behind our words is made perfectly known.

Clarity in all conversation is important and there will be times when another person will not clearly understand what you meant by your words. Sometimes the "right" words are difficult to form in ones mind so that meaning can be made clear. And there is always, ALWAYS, the flawed ability of another person to really LISTEN and actively seek to understand what you are saying!

There is however a small lie we often tell to our loved ones. We've become so good at telling this lie that we don't even see it as a lie anymore.

When we say something to someone we love in 'the moment' which subsequently gets understood in a way that makes us feel very insecure or uncomfortable we use this lie to cover our tracks and make ourselves appear guilt-less yet again. It gives us an "out" to our discomfort and helps us to smooth over ruffled feathers and/or receiving angry retaliation in return.

It doesn't matter exactly what we say nor even how we say it; what matters is its intent which comes from deep within our heart. What we say in these moments is always a reflection of exactly what is in our hearts. The intention behind these words is formed out of self-interest and Ego - at the heart of who we are.

Our heart can be clouded, its 'thoughts' unclear, so our minds will often filter the words that bubble up from it and turn them into "palatable" soundbytes for human consumption. When we think about what we are saying and attempt to be coherent and demonstrate loving gentleness in our speech and behaviours, the good oil of relationship can be made smooth and happy. Its when we don't think about what we're saying and we allow the 'thoughts' of our hearts to just "come out" of our mouths without thinking with our minds - that's where we get into trouble!

The excuse for saying exactly what is in our hearts before our mind has had a chance to think it through is the line "But.. I didn't MEAN it like that!".

Yes you did! You just got found out is all!

The mind is rational. It does not "deal" in emotion like the heart does. The heart is all emotion and is the basis for many of our thoughts. The mind must work to expose the ego-centricicity within our heart-thoughts and re-work these sentences into coherent and practical meanings based on a multitude of beliefs, behaviours, observations, ideals, and so on. The mind is good at making meaning clear through sifting and sorting. The heart just says exactly what it "thinks" each and every time. When we speak "from the heart" - we are speaking EXACTLY what we are really thinking.

Its not often pretty! The heart can be a very ego-centric animal prone to selfish delusions of grandeur! If you did not "mean" what your mouth just said when you said it - then you need to search your heart to find out if that is what you really actually mean or if your heart is telling you otherwise! We lie to ourselves too with that line!

So be honest and admit with your mind and your mouth what your heart is really "saying" even if it hurts you more than you think it will hurt your loved one.

Mean what you say and say what you mean. This is coherent verbal communication in action.


biren said...

dear mitch,
visited you here for the first time. and found this post.

it is very late to comment, but still, here it is:

i think, you were speaking to yourself. trying to create coherence in the chaos of the murky mixture of heart-thoughts and mind-thinking.

please take this as MY analysis, check your heart for how it makes you feel - if what i say feels warm look into it further, if it constricts your heart, reject it.

it seems you were trying to see for yourself the thoughts that were hiding as 'heart'. and you deep down knew it - that the thoughts were masquerading as 'your heart'. and you not only wanted to expose the lie, you wanted to find the true heart behind those lies... to make something you were rejecting (about yourself) once again yours.

i am not speaking in plain langauge.
what i mean is: you knew (sensed?) that though the heart-thoughts were yours they were not your true heart, but an acquired reactionary conclusion made by the mind (ego?) to save you pain (and attributed to 'heart').

the heart feels, does not think. it has feelings and the mind classifies or defines them... and the feelings get a name, and they become thoughts.

am i making sense? because, i feel you already know this. and here, you were trying to bring this sensing into more understandable and expressable form.
the mind wanted to understand the heart, and itself.

i think, you were clear that it was the mind that was speaking out in the garb of heart - it is YOU who used the word heart-thoughts.

and you, or the heart REALLY didnot mean it. but the mind didnot have the wherewithal to understand and express the true heart. it used whatever was there in its repertoire - thro the limited life-experience.

i believe, the only way to keep out mind in the expressing of heart is to communicate thoughts and feelings as - 'this is what i think and feel'. it tells you and others that you are sharing your conclusions and thoughts, not your heart.

does this help?


Michelle said...

You know Biren :) I had no idea what I was trying to say in this post after I read it again two days later (thereabouts).

I had intended to revisit this post and try to make more sense of it but never did.

Thankyou for your take on this. You are very brave to have read it and tried at least to make sense of it :) I appreciate that.

I guess there is more food for thought here. The subject of thought and how it relates to our natures as rational/emotive beings is fascinating.

Let me muse on it when I can and perhaps I will blog about it in time to come.

Thanks again for reading.