Sometimes I find myself in a situation, where people who don't know me all that well get the impression that I'm in a bad mood, dislike them or even worse: that I'm simply an arrogant sod just waiting for a chance to belittle others.
When I was younger I couldn't wrap my head around it and I felt like the most misunderstood kid in the entire world. Today, I'd like to think I know better. Over the years I've realised that the way I speak, the words I use and the posture of my body has much more impact than I thought when I was young.
However, there is still much I can learn about communication. I've always had a way with the written word, but when it comes to communication eye-to-eye, I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, if you know what I mean...
A little while ago I learned a new lesson. Sort of... come to think about it, I may have come across that very lesson before, but maybe it didn't sink in as well as it should.
I was at work and found myself getting more and more angry at one of my colleagues I felt mistreated, but couldn't figure out what made me feel this way. Then, suddenly, it struck me:
Whenever I made a mistake (I'm the new guy and have a lot to learn) he "NOed" me. That is: he used the word "NO!" in a kind of agressive, snarring way - You know: just like a parent trying to control a toddler:
"NO! don´t touch the stereo!" - "NO! Knives are not toys!" - "NO! Plates are not meant for throwing!"
NO! NO! NO! NO!
Words have a power build in to them and whenever we speak or write words we unleash some of that power. That single word: "NO!" has a lot of negative energy and I´ve witnessed first hand how some mentally handicapped people can even respond with violence just hearing the word.
So, I've decided to try not using that word so much. Instead of saying "No, don't touch the stereo!" to my kids, I'd like to be able to change it to: "Please leave the stereo alone."
Maybe... just maybe... My children and I will have bettered our communication this way?