Friday, October 19, 2012

LITL: Lost in translation. A communication fail.

I haven't posted a really good post in a while. And so I sit here wondering... what do I have to say. 

Strange, because over the past few days I have constantly had to opt not to speak. For someone like me, this is almost a miracle. I am a logical thinking. I can reason through almost any problem, solve any solution, or at least make up a solution that sounds like I know what I am talking about. 

But I find time and time again that people are not problems; they don't have solutions; they can't be reasoned through. Sometimes they can't even be reasoned with

So how do I respond when it seems something needs to be fixed? I jump in a start fixing it. Why read the instructions when I might be able to figure it out from looking at the pieces? Oh boy, this one gets me in trouble all the time. 

Recently I have had many situations in which I just have to sit back and observe. Doing so, I have learned a few things about communication. There is no such thing as an unbiased point of view. Every one has filters or barriers through which information must pass on its way in and out of the brain. Such filters can be cultural, lengual, based on age, etc. 

Barriers are those more difficult parts of communicating, things that have formed in a person that make it difficult to be flexible and varied in communication. Character flaws, tragic experiences, on going difficult relationships can cause a person to communicate in one specific way, and make them unable of understanding or being understood by a person with different barriers. 

So what do you do when you try to talk to someone and it seems like its being heard in another language? Stop talking. I try to explain more and more what I mean, when I need to stop and figure out what was heard. 

What does God say about this?

Psalm 37:8 - "Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret-it leads only to evil."

Proverbs 15:1 - "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."

Ephesians 4:1-3 -  " As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace."

So stop and ask yourself, "What barriers are my words having to go through before they are heard? What is the other person hearing?" And the most important thing is to be honest with yourself. Are there barriers in your life that are preventing you from understanding others? How can you pray the out of your life? 

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