"The forest will answer you in the way you call to it." - Finnish Proverb
When we communicate with others in a harsh tone or mix in judgment in our response there is a higher probability that we will get a defensive response back. People tend to respond to us in the same fashion that we speak to them. This phenomenon is called mirroring.
Jesus said, "Do not judge or you will be judged."
For some of us communicating in a critical or harsh tone has become a habit. We may come to realize that we have more conflict in our life as a result. Yet many people do not see this connection and instead continue to blame, criticize and judge others for the problems that occur in their life.
Someone once said that the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. The key to change is to realize that what we are doing is not working and to do something different and to practice it. Aristotle said, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit."
Practice making observations (state the facts without mixing in any judgment), expressing your feelings and needs and making a request this week when speaking about something that triggers you. By practicing this you will begin to communicate in a way that does not judge and more clearly gets your message across to others.
For example, instead of saying, "You are lazy and never help out" you can say, "I see that you have not washed the dishes you used for lunch. I feel frustrated because I need help and support. Would you please wash your dishes within the next hour?"
Remember it is not an easy task to not make judgments of others and instead make observations. Krishnamurti says, "the ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of human intelligence."
For more information on nonviolent communication (the process modeled above) click here.
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