Is Your Communication Style Insulting or Inspiring?
by Desiree Leigh, Wake Up to Live
Is your communication style insulting, belittling, or inspiring? When writing comments in the first person, it guarantees me not to exclude myself from what is being discussed. Thus, I take on the responsibility to what I write or say. I don't direct the comment to someone else. Rather I try to influence. For instance, "when I am not expressing my own creative potential, I focus on blame in a relationship instead of focusing on creativity." I take on the responsibility personally.
On the other hand, if I write in third person, I direct the comment to others so that now I am more of a judge and juror than someone trying to support and uplift. For example, "when people aren't expressing their own potential, they focus blame on the relationship instead of focusing on their creativity." Do you see the difference? Do you feel the difference?
Many of us say and believe we are inspiring others into awareness; but when it really comes down to it, we are judging others; we are not inspiring others. I do this myself probably more often than I should. Here's another example; but this one is in second person: "As you waste your breath complaining about life, someone out there is breathing their last." How do you feel when you read this? To me, this one sounds as though the person writing is belittling me and pointing fingers; rather than inspiring me.
Of course, there is a time and place to write and talk in second and third person for sure. And, to get a point across, sometimes people need a wake up call with the second person - kind of in your face direct wake up call. Third person may be a little more gentle. Nonetheless, it is still talking about you and me rather than about the writer.
Why did I write about first, second, and third person pronouns? For sometime now, I have been scanning through posts from Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. For a while, I couldn't understand why I would get agitated and then "hide" certain posts. Me, the curious cat, needed to uncover why this subtle physiological arousal was happening. Always interested in communication and relationships especially after reading Marshall B. Rosenberg's books, Speak Peace in a World of Conflict and Nonviolent Communication, I started to figure out that it is not what is being said but how it is being said. Thus, some posts would inspire me and others would agitate me.
To sum up, is your communication style insulting, pointing fingers, or inspiring? Just remember that you, me, and they must remember the importance of communication - tone of voice, pronouns and words used, and physiology expressed. Additionally, how we communicate things may be more important than what we communicate depending on the purpose of the communication.
A note: This is quite a simplified explanation in regards to communication; but it brings out the basics. Using the various pronouns can also be very inspiring. So give your words some thought before you verbally express them. Or, rather, have your purpose in mind about the conversation you desire. Setting an intention, ultimately, will set the tone of the conversation.
Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh