Have you ever thought about how complicated it is to get a message across to someone without all of your history, assumptions, and issues getting in the way? And what about the one who is listening to you? They have their own experiences, beliefs, and definitions that can easily get in the way of hearing what you intend to say.
We all know we ought to chose our words carefully. I know the things I say are often misunderstood because I usually talk through a subject to arrive to my “final” thoughts but I say things as I am processing them. If you only camp on something I said midstream, you might never stick around to hear my ultimate conclusion. Never mind the times when I simply change my mind on something even if I have already stated my opinion!
There are times we can look deep into what someone is saying and hear only what we want to hear and what confirms our suspicions. Dialogue is great for clarification but taking the time for dialogue is often hard to arrange. Conversations that are uncomfortable are difficult to tease through and I am guilty of often avoiding those types of conversations. Sometimes they do more harm than good because people still believe what they want to believe about what they think they heard.
Considering this topic today has made me think I should take a vow of silence and yet that wouldn’t ultimately solve anything either. For now, I will speak less and listen more. I hope that keeps me out of trouble.