Straight to the point
It has been a while now since I have started to reflect and observe my ways of expression through words. Even in writing, I tend to simplify what I have to say, I use fewer words in order to express something ( I have become a bit bored of polemics) and at times even overthink what I am about to say – so that I eventually end up not saying it – since I feel it really doesn’t matter. In all this process, I understood that previously, I wasn’t always listening to myself when talking – and I have reached a personal conclusion – that using words wisely is an act of self-observation and actually improves and brings clarity to our relationship with others. Also, it is more time-effective to be brief, straightforward and precise when speak or write as only in this way we would give real meaning to words.
So yes, coming back to myself, I believe that it is good to slow down a bit and think twice what I am about to say. Also, it is quite useful to reflect on my talking patterns, on those small talks and those comments that maybe will not be received well, or even, will not be considered as relevant as I might intend. I am thinking here even at that random ‘how are you’… It is true – some people just use it as a kind of intro to what they have to say ( so disappointing though) however when I actually expect some answer in return, somehow I feel that it was not taken seriously, or even I get the impression that I am actually considered superficial, along with the first category. That is why I try to choose my words carefully as each and every word is a symbol, that translated through someone else’s experience might have a different impact and paint a different colour.
We make language
Language doesn’t make people – people make the language. Sometimes we forget that we are the creators, we have the power to decide and control what comes out of our mouths. How many times we just couldn’t help it and, in the heat of the moment we said something we shouldn’t have and we hurt the other?
Furthermore, I believe we are not out of examples of people who talk for the sake of hearing themselves, that go round in circles and elaborate in so many words that the substance, the meaning, remains still a question mark. Now, just draw the line and think – how time-consuming is our failure to express what we really feel, in having to readdress what we have just said or apologize for the hurtful words?
Listen to understand first
It is true, it is also important to listen, as many times I found myself being wrongly understood yet the problem was with the listener not with the message per se. Unfortunately, so many times we are swept in these ‘societal’ currents of friends, education, work and generally, mundane matters which completely turn ourselves into machines, into characters in our own life like ping-pong balls.
It is not only that we don’t participate in our own life, we even create situations that reflect that and at a closer look, support the superficial, the frugal and the perennial. That is how we are constantly indulged into this kind of defensive listening which is not REAL listening since the essence is missed – but which is only focused on the answering back, on who has the last word. It’s like an ego contest.
Remember – Silence is a blessing
All in all, I guess it all comes to asking ourselves – ‘what is it that I want the others to think, to understand – from what I have to say?’ and ‘how can I make the message accessible for the person in front of me?’ (the fact that you have a top-notch vocabulary does not mean that you have to expect everyone else to understand your academic language)
Having clarified that once and for all – you have taken the first step to giving value to your speech. Then, you can actually start to appreciate and see silence a bit differently. Of course, there are moments when being silent is not the best of ideas (interview, oral exams or maybe even your in-laws heheh) however still! I feel that nowadays, people are underestimating the power of silence – and this might be again because of the fact that we feel the utmost need to impress, to show-off – and to have the last word. Still – how would you feel about doing a silent retreat? I am telling you – after an experience like that you would definitely appreciate words much more than before.
Practice makes perfect
It is a day to day work though, this self-observation, however, once you will get your head around it, you will understand what – indirectly speaking – is meaningful to you when hearing someone talking. You would most probably look for honesty, for authenticity and for that positive vibe without which we would be a bit discouraged or maybe lose interest in a conversation. Now, as any skill, you might need to allow time and effort for this, but mostly awareness. So take some time and train yourself. Begin to see language as the projection of yourself.