TOW#593 — Being considerate of others
The other day, a friend and I had a chat about how much easier it used to be for her to talk to people, because she didn’t really care about how she would be understood, how her words would affect others, whether she might hurt someone or whether the message would be conveyed or received badly. However, she said she’s changed now and how it’s very difficult for her to communicate, because she thinks about every word, about how what she’s saying is reflected on others, as well as about the other person — whether she might insult, hurt or make them feel uncomfortable. I told her that she should feel very good about this, since she’s a rarity nowadays, because in general when we communicate with others we think very little, if at all, about what we’re saying and how we’re saying it. As a result, it very often happens that we hurt others, consciously, semi-consciously or unconsciously.
She complained that it’s very difficult for her to communicate like that!
It’s not hard, in fact. It’s the hardest!!
In order to communicate without hurting someone with your words, you need to think a lot. But we humans don’t like to spend too much time thinking. We’re more interested in saying what we want and in expressing our position, not caring much about what that could do and how it could affect someone. Well, we should care about the people we’re talking to. Be compassionate or empathetic. We need to think about whether what we’re saying is relevant. Next, how will it affect the other person — negatively or positively? Then, we have to choose the right words for what we want to say… Oooff! If it goes on like this maybe it’s better to not get into conversations at all!?
How many of you actually think this much, being careful to choose the right words, before communicating with someone!? (of course this is a rhetorical question — I only asked so I could get a rise out of you).
The most convincing sign that someone genuinely cares for you,
is that they seek to understand you.
Samantha Jo Gabardi
The reason I was inspired to write this week’s tip is because as I was talking to my friend, another friend sent me an interesting article on Japanese culture, written by someone named Natalie Kalinina. I’ll quickly try to recap it and convey the point.
The text is about the fact that Japan is the country with the most elderly people. It’s believed that in 15 years they’ll have more than a million people aged over 100. This has been attributed in the past to a healthy diet, a certain lifestyle, and the traditional values by which they live. However, it was recently shown that the secret of their longevity lies in the fact that the Japanese are the only people on Earth who, when communicating, try not to spoil the mood of their interlocutor. That is to say, they’ve learned to control their thoughts. The Japanese are the only ones who consciously learn at school, at home, at work, to control their thoughts and not to allow negative ones to ruin other people’s lives and futures. Researchers concluded that negative thoughts kill not only the mood of your interlocutor, but also their health and future.
How much better would the world be if we all communicated the Japanese way?!
The most important words in this text are “the Japanese consciously learn”! Which means everything can be learned, if there’s the willingness.
Try to think before saying anything!
Try not to be negative when you speak!
Try not to spoil the mood of those you’re talking to!
Try to bring a little ‘Japanese style’ into your life!
Wishing you success with the changes to come,
Member of the Team
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