Have you ever considered how language was first created and what a task that must have been! How there are words to describe material things and others to name subjective concepts? Even if we speak the same language, this is no guarantee that we will understand each other. Sure, everyone will get it if you are referring to a material object, like window, table or car. However, when we move into the subjective world things change drastically.
The meaning we infuse into our language varies not only from culture to culture, but also from individual to individual, depending mostly on each person’s construct of the world. This is derived from our childhood experiences, that first molded our possibilities and limitations.
When we get into heated arguments with our spouses, coworkers, families, because they did not perform to our assumptions, we feel as if they have committed a fault or even betrayed us with a conduct that we deem not good. This conduct may mean a whole different thing for the other person but usually we do not make the time and space to listen and allow for this to mean something else.
We react out of fixed expectations that oftentimes are surreal or impractical, however, we do not know that, simply because they are the product of unconscious defense mechanisms. We could think that communicating our needs and our boundaries, should come natural to us, but it doesn’t because we are a product of a socialized individual, and not a natural human being.
When we are born, we land into a cultural group and a family, with a set of accepted and unaccepted traits and behaviors. Out of our 360 degrees of inherent natural expression, only about half are accepted. We learn quickly that in order to be safe, we must display certain characteristics and hide the others. The undesirable traits conform our shadow, both positive and negative. And those aspects, that cannot be accepted as ours are projected onto our spouse, friends, coworkers, making it hard for us to see them for who they are.
Communication is an art, which arises from the ability to listen, not judge and stay present in the moment, honoring the other person for who they are, while at the same time, expressing our authenticity with no fear, guilt, shame, etc. It is a practice that starts home, by learning to listen to yourself.