Rephrasing is a therapeutic technique developed by Carl Rogers which represents the expression in a more concise way whatever the other person just said (rephrasing is different from reframing which is another therapeutic method, but this second one is used for changing the context or the perspective with a different one that fits at least as good). Since he was a psychologist, he developed this method as a way to enhance the therapeutic process, but can we use it in our daily lives?
Basically, rephrasing means saying the same crap with different words. While reading about this, I remembered what Jacques Salome and Sylvie Galland wrote about the steps each communication should have (I’ve described them here) and I think that this rephrasing could be successfully used for part 4, confirming that you understood what the other said.
I believe this is useful because we can test our understanding about what the other just said and if we get it right, we’ll create the impression to the person we’re trying to communicate with that he/she has been understood and if we’re not getting it right, we’re giving the chance to that person to explain it better. This way, I believe that the communication process is improved.
Here is a rephrasing example:
Person 1: I’ve started to talk to the phone with my mother in that worst moment and you know what that’s like.
Person 2: (Instead of just saying I do, which implies filtering this affirmation through own life experiences): So talking to the phone with your mother changed that worst moment?
Person 1: Yes, it made it better. It was the best timing ever!
When we know that person better, we might know what he or she is referring to, but maybe a short confirmation wouldn’t harm. That person will feel that he or she is listened and understood while our level of knowing and understanding that person increases. Doing this also provokes us and the others to be more specific in what we say, which is what Jordan B. Peterson recommends.
How often do you rephrase while communicating and how people react to it?