The manner in which we communicate with our self and others is integral to experiencing beautiful relationships and pleasant interactions.
With practice, greater awareness, and becoming truly present with these internal and external conversations, it becomes more obvious just how much of our daily language is regressive (negative) instead of progressive (positive).
In the 5th Habit of Stephen Covey’s book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” we're reminded about the importance of being active listeners so we really, deeply understand human beings. In it he states, “most people listen with the intent to reply, not to understand.”
A common occurrence when we do this “loading up” is evidenced by the automated response of “No, …”. We unintentionally, often unconsciously, reject and shut down what the other person has said or suggested by the “No” and sometimes emphatic “No, no, no” reply that precedes our own perception or interpretation of the subject.
Another option, one that allows for far lovelier interactions and that changes the dynamic of our communication is to respond with, “Yes, and …”.
A simple example of this could be that Anthony makes a suggestion about how we might approach an activity or upcoming event. In the instance where I might have a different opinion, instead of saying, “No, we should … ”, a more progressive responsive would be, “Yes, and another consideration or approach could be …”. This often leads to a lovely discussion and complimentary representation of both of us.
I invite you to become an observer when others are interacting around you to witness just how often this occurs. It's a great active listening exercise.
You may also wish to observe if you are listening actively or unintentionally shutting down and rejecting another's perspective in conversations.
Covey’s “7 Habits” are timeless and worthy of visiting and revisit time and again:
Until next time...
Live the Life you Love