What is Received


What is Received

Some friends and I were talking the other day about listening. More to the point, we were talking about people hearing things which were never said.

In communication lectures I emphasize the importance of knowing your audience. To the best of your knowledge; have they had a good day, how are they feeling, are there any stressors and pressures weighing heavily upon them?  All of these determine what they hear when you speak to them.
What about environment? What is the location of your conversation, do you have privacy, are there bystanders, can you talk without being interrupted by eavesdroppers? Again, these have a lot to do with how your words to another are perceived. And of course, what is your history with the person whom you’re speaking with?
Communication is 80% non-verbal. Only 20% of what we say to another person, or a group of people, is said with language.There are many other factors to be considered to ensure your words are received with the right intent. Unfortunately, even taking most or all of these ingredients in mind, it doesn’t guarantee the words you speak will be what the listener hears.

As one who speaks one on one and to groups of people regularly I have many stories of folks excitedly telling me; “What you said today really spoke to me!” When I inquire about the specifics they share about topics I didn’t talk about and hadn’t even considered! “Thank you!” they say. “You’re welcome!” I reply and walk away trying to figure out how they received what I clearly didn’t give.

It also happens in my writings. A few months ago I wrote about an ugly shirt and a comment someone made about the unsightly garment. As I try to do in my daily writings I gave a lesson learned from the encounter. I thought it was well written and to the point until someone responded to my post in an aggressive way. Though I tried to explain that what he received wasn’t what I wrote, it didn’t matter. Eventually I had to accept what he read and the meaning he took away from it even though it wasn’t my intent.

Wisdom tells us to measure our words. They are incredibly powerful. They build and destroy. Lift us up or tear others down. Too often we are careless with what comes out of our mouths and never consider the consequences until after the words are spoken. Breathe, before your speak and when what is received offends and harms, make sure you apologize with words more carefully chosen then the one which came before.

@BrianLoging (Twitter)



About thewannabesaint.com

thewannabesaint.com is a place for sojourners walking this spiritual path called life. - Brian Loging, brian@thewannabesaint.com, is lead writer at tWS. He is also a speaker, author, poet.

Posted on July 24, 2016, in Mindfulness and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. We also need to remember that many times no matter what we say, or how meticulous we have edited, people will take it wrongly just because THEY are in a mood. Remember Adam and Eve and God–no matter what God said, they took His words, moved them aside, did what they wanted, then hid from God like it was His fault, and we know it because Adam had the nerve to blame God for the woman (and Eve blamed the talking snake). God couldn’t win except by force because people refused to admit they were the ones who had the thinking/listening problem. I like what God says somewhere, “My words do not come back void” or without having done what they were intended to do. And also someone once said to me, the hunter shoots at the flock of geese and only knows when he strikes because one or more start squawking. Hehehehee. Sorry, good article, sir.


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