Our language shapes our reality by setting the context for how we feel about ourselves, how we judge others, how we determine what our possibilities are, and ultimately how we make decisions about the future.
The difference between a hopeful situation and a hopeless situation, a nice person and a mean person, a good day and a bad day, an effort worth making and a risk not worth taking, is often just a matter of the words we use to describe our experiences.
In yesterday’s post, I made a distinction between objective and subjective descriptions.
Here are just a couple of advantages/benefits that you can immediately gain simply by opting for subjective descriptions:
1) You reduce conflict between you and others.
When you describe your experiences objectively, you are taking a position. This implies that you are right and others are wrong even when you don’t intend for others to interpret you in that way.
If I say “you talk too much”, I’m virtually asking for an argument by putting the other person on the defense. Even worse, I may cause them to withdraw from me because of hurt feelings.
By saying something like “I do not have the energy, time, or interest-level to be attentive to what you’re saying right now”, I am putting the focus on me and my inability to listen.
Since I am only describing MY EXPERIENCE, there is nothing for me to be right or wrong about and, consequently, no need to debate anything.
My conversation partner and I would be free to focus on addressing my needs without anyone having to adopt and defend a position.
Our ability to solicit the cooperation of others increases greatly when people don’t have to worry about being seen as “wrong.”
Subjective descriptions can powerfully eliminate such worries.
2) You gain access to a broader range of solutions and you increase your sense of personal power
By keeping the attention focused on YOU AND YOUR NEEDS, rather than on what someone else is doing, you’re far more likely to feel in control and, in turn, attract solutions that are a vibrational match to that feeling.
When I say “You’re too fast”, my assessment is ALL ABOUT YOU. Clearly, there’s nothing for ME to do. Either you slow down or I’m stuck in an unwanted predicament. My verbal description has locked me into a position where you, and you alone, have the power to solve my problem. In this situation, how could I NOT feel anxious, insecure, and frustrated?
But if I were to say “I am unable to keep up with you”, I would reclaim my power even though, paradoxically, I’m expressing what appears to be a limitation.
Thinking and speaking subjectively would open me to options (ie. I could stop racing, I could split up and go at a slower pace, I could train harder, etc.) that don’t require any changes from the person who’s going at a faster pace than I.
There’s a lot more to how we create our reality through language, but that’s my two cents for today.
What are some ways you can benefit from adopting a more subjective style of communication?