It’s a human phenomenon that we don’t listen to each other. Everything we hear goes through the filtered perception of the mind. Even those who have had extensive training in human communication fall into the trap of twisting words.

It’s not just the obnoxious types who can’t wait for their turn to speak, never truly listening or the anxious ones who can’t be still or comfortable in silence only to fill it with nonsensical chatter.

Human beings don’t listen because they’re so busy and caught up with the voice of their perception in their mind, that they project that voice onto another, ultimately seeing an enemy in their response.

We react to other people’s reactions to us not realising that our perception of their reaction is just our own criticism of ourselves. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

There is no enemy
There is no enemy.

We make things mean that which was never intended, we make stuff up and present it as fact. In fact, each time someone asks me to speculate I preface it with a big fat disclaimer of “I’ll speculate to humour you but you need to know I’m literally making stuff up. It could be 100% correct but I’m still making it up in this moment.”

Human beings rarely say what they mean and mean what they say. Words like ‘ok’, ‘great’ and ‘fine’ have lost their original intention so far to the other side, that if they are used in earnest, others think we are being passive aggressive or facetious.

I was with a friend and he was watching people argue on YouTube. I was curious what he found interesting about this so I asked a simple question of “What do you find interesting about this?” Straight away he started defending his position because that question landed for him as a criticism. He saw an enemy in my questioning. I had no criticism of his past-time. I was simply curious as to what it was about this that enthralled him. Yet because deep down he hold judgement for himself, that’s what he heard. He didn’t hear with his ear – he heard with his mind.

During a conversation with my mum I expressed to her that I thought she did the best she could raising my brother and I. I don’t know about you but I do the best I can in ever situation. I think you’re lucky when you have a parent that does the best they can as some do not. But she heard that as a criticism – that it wasn’t good enough or that she’d done the bare minimum. I had literally meant she did the best she could and that was amazing but she heard with her mind, not her ears and saw an enemy in what was said.

Commit to only saying what you mean for a week. See what happens.

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