Are you a reactor? That is, someone who verbally lashes out in response to a comment, without giving much thought to the context or situation. I would hazard a guess that if you are, you often spend your time wondering where on earth some people are coming from or ruminating on the fact that everyone else lives on another planet.
The latter point is closer to the truth than you might have first thought. You see, we all live in our own thought created reality. We all experience the world differently in that we feel our circumstances and events in our own individual way.
An example of this is if a dozen people witness a road traffic accident and are then individually interviewed about it – then there are at least a dozen different versions of what occurred.
Our experiences and perceptions are just what we have interpreted. Therefore, everyone is operating and communicating from their own model of what they think the world looks like.
What does this have to do with us thinking before we speak?
Understanding that everyone has their own model of the world means that when they speak and offer comment or opinion they are doing this from their position; in their own language and with their own set of beliefs. They are looking at the world from a different position to ours.
Knowing this enables us to take a step back from reacting in the instance. We recognise that we are simply responding to OUR own model of the world and our own interpretation of the situation – which may not actually be the right response.
If we want to get a positive response from someone, or at the every least the kind of response that we want them to give – we have to engage the pause button.
This is especially true when we are responding to non verbal comments – emails, text messages. While we can interpret what we think the message means, we actually don’t know for sure as we not only have to consider it is our own interpretation – without seeing or hearing the other person, we do not know the emotion attached to the message.
Have you ever read a text message and been enraged, only to discover later that it actually didn’t mean what you thought it did?
Think about how you speak, how you react.
Do you really have to respond right away – can that email wait 24 hours? At the very least THINK before you hit the send button.
Learning to engage the pause button and understanding the position of the other person will go a long way to improving your communications and your relationships.
Go on, give it a go today and see how you get on. You may be pleasantly surprised.