I have had a frustrating day with technologies; and I am not the most patient person when it comes to anything technical. Sometimes you just have to stop and walk away and try again another time. This got me thinking about how I communicate with the world; am I as effective as I believe I am? Do other people really understand or hear what I am trying to communicate? As a visual artist I understand that everyone interprets a piece of artistic work in their own way; through their own subjective filters, but is this also true for verbal or written communication? When I create a piece of visual art it is with the hope that someone will connect with it and it does not really matter to me, if it has the ‘meaning’ to them as it had to me when I was creating it. This is different to verbal and written communication though or is it? I am just trying to be heard or do I really want an open dialogue?
We all have our own filters which we engage the world with. I can try really hard to have an empathic ear when I listen to others, but sometimes my pre-judgments and self-belief projections make it harder to truly hear what someone else is trying to say. I spend a lot of my time, consciously and unconsciously analysing all my interactions with other people; this is a learned behaviour that I developed as a safety technique from my abusive past. I felt that if I could understand someone’s motives or agenda I could emotionally control the situation. Of course that is false; but it was a self-soothing habit I formed; like some people may twirl their hair when they are anxious – I (believe I) analyse the people in situations.
So if I am over analysing whilst engaging with the world; how affectively I am truly communicating with others? I would say quite poorly. I am not saying I will ever be such a good communicator that I will be able to switch off my internal dialogue, nor would I want to. I do want to feel safe enough to hear someone else and respond with an open heart. Wouldn’t it be totally healthy for me not to care why someone is saying something, but just accept that they are…. and hear them.