Have you ever said the wrong word at a sensitive moment? We have all experienced that awkwardness when something slips off the tongue as a result of either not enough thought or too much thought wishing we could take it back.
Recently my husband was going in for surgery unexpectedly and I happened to be out of town. As I tried to reassure him that “everything was going to be fine,” while dealing with my own emotions, I ended the conversation with, “It’s going to be great.”
As I got off the phone I was like “what was that? Nothing is great about this situation at all!” As I tried to validate my stupidity I discovered in my truth that my trained communication habits got in the way. I couldn’t possibly use the same adjective in the same conversation!
Why does this happen? All of our communication stems from our intrapersonal awareness, a model comprised of the need to be accepted, the need to be right, and the need to be. Our first level is the “presentation center”. This is where our responses are most politically correct and are based on our need to be accepted. The purpose of these responses is to make an emotional connection with another individual but may not truly reflect what we feel in our inner circle.
In the second level, our “message center,” is where we store our learned responses. These reflect our ego, need for self-preservation, and need to be right. We want to be correct so we are perceived as credible.
Our inability to respond appropriately in sensitive situations arise from our cues of wanting to be accepted and wanting to be right.
The third level is the “self center” — our heart. Here there is no judgment. The goal is simply to allow ourselves and others to be. It is when we are able to block out all the noise in our conscious, emotional and learned, and focus in on the moment and let the words just flow from our heart.
So the next time you are trying to search for the right words, don’t. Just let yourself “be” and you will be amazed at how the right words will find you.