Scot

Communication and Shadows

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Communication and Shadows

Every relationship requires communication.  Even the relationships between people on Twitter count as relationships.  And sometimes communication breaks down.  Somewhere between (1) the speaker's (or writer's) brain to (2) the words he or she uses, to (3) the words the listener (or reader) receives to (4) the receiver's brain after he or she interprets the message communication might break down.

I think on the Teal Swan forum we probably all believe the shadow exists.  It is the subconscious mind and it affects our conscious minds considerably.  So what does this have to do with communication?  

Speakers imply and listeners infer.

Sometimes speakers, without explicitly stating their case, intentionally make implications.  Sometimes speakers make Freudian slips and reveal something they actually believe but did not intend to reveal.  And sometimes speakers mis-speak and make implications that they didn't mean to make and don't actually believe.  Or the shadow might mess up the works and affect the word choice or the tone and affect the message in such a way that the speaker's conscious mind does not even realize.  I think that covers all the possibilities but there might be even more ways that communication might break down before the words even leave the speaker's lips. (Oh... speaking of lips, there might be a pronunciation problem)

But what about the listener's side? Listeners infer.  A listener might correctly infer from the speaker's intentional and unintentional implications.  And the listener might mis-hear.  And the listener's shadow might mess up the works by inferring the speaker said something but the speaker never meant to say that and the speaker does not actually even believe that.  Now I think that covers all the possibilities but there might be even more.

Communication could break down at any point along the way.  I am not going to tell you that a communication problem is the speaker's fault or the listener's fault.  All I can say is that there is a problem.

But I will say this: I believe as speakers we should take responsibility for our words all the way out to the interpretation.  If we utter words that get misinterpreted and perhaps are taken as an insult then to say "you are misinterpreting me" could be a further insult by implying that the mistake is the other person's fault.  Better to say "oh I think I wasn't clear.  Let me rephrase...". 

Now if any of this post seems unfair to either the speaker or the listener I'm sorry for my mistaken implication.  I was hoping to write a post that was balanced and fair to both.

Edited by Scot
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Mark Twain -  "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know 'for sure' that just ain't so."

I think awareness and critical thinking are important and I fail at both miserably all the time.  But I think we should try to look at our own biases for why we accept one story over another.  Of course, those biases might be hidden in our shadows, so it ain't easy.

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3 hours ago, walt said:

Can you share what you think your biases might be?

I will try but by the very nature of biases, I might not be aware of all my biases.

-I believe in the existence of an objective physical reality.  "Objective" reality means it is not subjective to belief or anything else. Therefore, I found it very surprising when I heard of a scientific experiment that some people claim indicates that physical reality is subjective to consciousness.  (Not subjective to belief but subjective to consciousness). It's called the "quantum eraser" and you can google for it.  Basically it is a variation on the dual slit experiment and people claim that if a consciousness is aware of a particle going through one of the slits then it behaves like a particle but if no consciousness is aware then it behaves like a wave.  The claim is that consciousness "collapses the wave function". The claim had me going for a while but then I read a write-up on Quora that it isn't a consciousness that makes the difference.  It is merely that the particle is measured.  At the particle level you can't measure something without affecting it.  So, given my bias (which I believe is quite well founded) I tend to accept the claim of the guy on Quora over the claim that consciousness affects physical reality.

 Of course other people have a bias to believe that consciousness does affect and even effect reality.  So they are likely to accept the experiment as proof of their claim.

Of course, I have other biases but this post is long enough.

Edited by Scot

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I believe we all have biases.  In my previous post, I just gave you an easy one.  Here's a deeper one.  One that is a little further into my shadow (but not so far in that I can't see it)

My wife tells me I have a "rescue complex" and I agree with that. But I would call it more of a "teacher complex".  My job is "teacher" (IT trainer) and I tend to think I can teach anyone anything.  "If I can just say it the right way" "if I try again another way then they will get it".  At work, I can see when someone isn't getting something and realize that they just aren't going to get it.  But over the Internet, I am likely to fall prey to trolls.  "If I just say it the right way then this troll will understand.  He will get it and maybe even thank me for it." (That is my delusion.)

For the purposes of this post, I would define "troll" as someone who consciously, knowingly,  intentionally, deliberately misinterprets posts for the purpose of starting a fight and a flame war.  If someone misinterprets posts, even routinely, but it is not consciously, knowingly, intentionally then that someone is not a troll.  And by that definition, I believe there currently are no trolls here in the forum.  We have some people with very different perspectives, but no trolls (by that definition).

Edited by Scot

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I started writing a post but then I realized that talking about another member might be against forum rules.   

Let go back to our own biases.  Here is another one of mine.  Years ago I read a book called "I'm Okay. You're Okay". The basic gist is that that is a good place to be.  The book says that if I think that for the most part, I'm okay and, for the most part, other people are okay then that it mentally or maybe spiritually healthy.

When I was really young, I can remember not being interested much in playing with the other kids. I figured I was okay but I didn't think they were particularly okay.  But looking back I think that was pretty much an ego defense mechanism.

Later in life, things seemed to switch and I started thinking that everyone else seems okay and seems to know what to do but I don't.  So for a long time I was depressed. 

But lately I have come around to thinking that I'm not any more screwed up than the next guy.  For the most part, I'm okay.  And for the most part other people are okay too. 

So my bias is that getting to "I'm okay and you're okay" is a good thing. 

Edited by Scot

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