How many times have you responded, “That’s NOT what I meant!” Conversely, you’ve probably been told that as well. I know I have!
Recently my intention in forwarding an email to my husband was not received as I intended. I immediately shot back a, “That’s NOT what I meant!” response to his response. As much as I write I still make mistakes, both personally and professionally. Our thoughts don’t always translate well onto the screen or paper, at least as far as projecting the clarity we desire.
In his book, The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz tells us the First Agreement is,
Be impeccable with your word.
I’ve always thought of that as telling the truth, not misleading others. In this context, however, it also means that we should ensure the words and emotions conveyed are congruent with the meaning we want to express.
In American Sign Language (ASL) a person’s facial expression and body language are just as important as the sign or sentence syntax. In fact, I can sign something completely wrong to a Deaf person or someone with hearing loss who uses ASL and still make my point through body language.
As we move through this stay at home period it’s important we cut each other a little slack. At the same time, I’m going to commit not to blurt out exactly what I’m thinking when my partners have not been involved with the conversation that’s been going around my head for the last half hour, expecting them to understanding me. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone had a copy of the same script in our heads so that they’d know what to say next? <grin>