Another important aspect of seeking understanding is to notice the manner in which we engage in conversations. It was brought to my attention when someone posted a comment about something they felt passionate about on a social media site. With all the upheaval in our country, there seems to be a deluge of passionate topics from which to share one's feelings. Since free speech is one of the gifts we have in this country, opinions and personal insights on "hot topics" abound in all forms of media.
Now would a good time to look at what form of communication would be most effective if one is seeking to understand a person or group. When someone post a statement or speaks about a topic there are really two ways to communicate. We can either REACT to the words or RESPOND to them. If we react we will write back immediately from our first reaction. If we respond we generally hit the pause button and consider the words, then write back with how we feel about the topic. Both choices come from our emotions.
Chances are the topic may be a "hot topic" that most of us have very clear and personal opinion. The one making the post is obviously passionate about the topic or they wouldn't be writing it. Passion is good. It comes from a place of concern or curiosity. Whether we don't like something or love it, we can use the fire from which it comes to help us notice what is important that it may be time to gain more insight, or take an action to try and change.
If we are met with reactive comments it only fuels the fire and puts us on the defense. When that happens the topic is put aside and instead we now engage by reacting with more emotion and making our personal exchange the focus, rather than the topic. Whereas when people respond to our words, it may offer us a different perspective, support or something to consider we hadn't thought about before; and not on the personal differences.
If our goal is to seek understanding, which will get us there? REACTING or RESPONDING
Vicky Kelm Williams
I find people absolutely fascinating!