As listeners we have a huge power over words.
I often find this underestimated and undervalued.
Usually people tend to think that meaning is simply added to words by the person who utters them.
But is that really true?
I believe people do add meaning to the words we utter, but that that meaning isn’t true until it is properly received.
A word spoken is only a word half meant. Every word we receive is an invitation and a chance to complete its meaning.
Also, it’s not the words that have the power to produce an outcome, it’s always the people who receive them and who deceide to act upon what they perceive who have the power to define the outcome of every conversation.
What would happen to the world if we’d approach language like that?
- Listening would be regarded as an active act, not as something passive
- Listening empowers you, you’re not just a sitting duck wainting to get shot
- Listening is something you are responsible for when engaging in a conversation, since half of the meaning of the words uttered by other people comes from you
- Truths would be something which only exist in agreement, between two people.
- Convincing and persuading people would be regarded as absurd since it would only mean that we would try to convey something which cannot be conveyed. You cannot completely transfer yourself to another person through words, let alone that this other person can completely receive you through those same words.
- People would be respected as authorities of their own self. Nobody knows you better than you do. Period.
- Statements would be questions.
- Demands would turn into invitations.
Thank you Sharon Sayler from Triiibes.com to inspire me to write this post.