Context, connotation, voice inflection, tone, written word, slang, mood, personal standpoint, projection. These are but some of the tools we use or take in to consideration when we read someone’s words and interpret them. How many people have you agreed with because of words? How many people have you disagreed with because of words? Is written word costing us friendships and relationships?
How we interpret what we mean, and how others receive, process and understand what we write are two entirely different things. Sometimes, the disconnect in this equation can have disastrous results and repercussions. Listening, reading, and interpreting with no expectation allows us to respond openly and honestly. What happens when we feel that we convey our thoughts articulately, only to find the other person completely took your words in a whole different context? Do you examine your role and what you wrote more closely?
I recently wrote something to a friend, and the way they responded was very eye opening to me. Honestly, I thought, wow, they see me as a spineless, scared creature! And so I reread what I wrote. I saw where I could have been interpreted that way to some degree, and then I considered if they were seeing me at that moment, or how they have perceived me the entire time I have known them. I think it was the latter to be honest, and I think it influenced how my written word was processed, comprehended.
I realized my part, they interpreted my statement based on their witnessed history viewed of me, and what they knew of my history, which was a snapshot of where I was, not who I am. That was majorly eye opening. How many of us do that, make determinations about others’ words based on our history with them or what we know about them? Is this a fair assessment of their words, are we failing in this approach? Or do we feel like we are meeting the other person where we think they are standing, because we know no differently? Are we taking them at face value and nothing more, nothing less?
Do you think we interpret written word correctly? Do you think we interpret written word too much? Do you think we are looking way too closely at something that we can better see from the surface? What do you think? Let me know, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Oh, and if you want to call me, drop me a line and I will send you my number.