This is such a deep topic and I’ve found some more interesting ideas about communication which I want to share with you. Besides those 4 steps that I mentioned here, Jacques Salome and Sylvie Galland talk about different levels on which we’re expressing ourselves and in their book If Only I’d Listen to Myself they mention five of them:
- The level of facts;
This level refers to talking about things we saw or did (like describing the action from a movie).
- The level of sensations and feelings;
At this level we’re referring to how we felt about something (for example, saying that the action from that movie scared us).
- The level of thinking, of ideas;
At this level we’re talking about our opinion about something (we’re saying if the movie was good or bad and why).
- The level of memories;
When we’re talking at this level, we’re referring to what memories a particular thing brought in our mind (what we remembered because of that movie).
- The level of imaginary.
At this level we’re talking about desires, wishes and fantasies (we’re imagining ourselves in that movie as the main guy or something).
Based on these levels, we’re encountering different problems. For example, we want to express a feeling, but we’re describing a fact without any reference about what we’re feeling about that because obviously, the other one should read our mind to know. So we’re trying to express in a feelings level using facts words and when the other one answers on a facts level we’re feeling misunderstood and we think that he/she is dumb or doesn’t give a f*ck about how we feel.
Another problem might be that the other one replies to a different level than the one we correctly expressed ourselves. For example, we might say that we felt horrible at a party and the other one would reply that the food was great. Again, we would feel misunderstood.
How many times did you expressed a wish and the one you were talking to tried to do something about it? Or worse, to prove you a different point? Sometimes a wish is misunderstood as being an expectation and the person you’re talking to takes it and acts upon it (for example, a 5 years old child might say that he wishes to live in a bigger house and the parents would try to prove to that child that they don’t have enough money to do so and they would feel bad about it).
The deeper I get, the scarier it gets and I’m wondering if we ever do it properly, but at least I can see why there are so many misunderstanding in this world…