Communication Skills 101
I observed something today, which seemed quite mundane, mostly because the underlying truth has been repeated so often it is part of the common knowledge base. What I observed is that if I respond different then I have in the past, then the person I’m in dialog with changes the way they respond back to me, without me doing anything about the other person! It seemed like magic, to observe such a phenomenon.
Then I also observed the converse when two people who knew each other well were having a dialog. One person expressed something which had behind it typical patterns of the individual, then the other person did the same, using their typical pattern. After this, there was no dialog as each person was identified with their reaction, feeling justified in how they saw things and using the occasion to express their disappointment of the other for not understanding them. So I saw that neither person was relating to the other, they had just fallen into reactionary mode, probably because they felt misunderstood and then felt a need to defend their position. I saw that as long as nothing new was input into the exchange, then this dialog would be destined to repeat. As I saw it, neither person bothered to take the opportunity to question their own behavior and what might have provoked the reaction in the other.
So you see the simplicity of it? If we behave the same way that we have in the past, then we will always get the same reaction back in dialog, and if we behave different then we will get a different result. It’s so true that we create our own reality. I also realize it’s quite easy to go beyond this by taking the step to find out about ‘our own behavior’ and then make a change from what we found out. Your world and all the people around you and how they respond to you will change! It’s all in our hands.
The first step is to not blame, judge or critique the other’s reaction, it is their reaction and so we can just accept it how it is and enter from there. How we respond to the other’s reaction is what is in our control. If we feel the other is reacting, then we should remain open to question the possibility that we have triggered their reaction through our own reactive patterns. If we have the desire to find out about our conditioned ways, then we can question the other about the ‘flare-up’ with further dialog, using words such as: “I feel that you are angry with me after I spoke, but I don’t understand what I have said to provoke such a reaction in you. Can you tell me why you are feeling this way?”
So you see, we can alter ‘our reality’ with only a few words, but we have to have in place the desire to really want to find out about ourselves and to do this we have to accept the other’s expression as it is. Life gives us many such ‘free opportunities’ and we should take advantage of them. Try this little exercise out for yourself, and then you might also see magic happening before your very eyes…