What you said is not what I heard

What you said is not what I heard

One of the great sources of conflict in our lives comes from a basic break down in communication.  I have a concept I want to communicate.  I put it in to my own words filtered by my bias.  The hearer interprets my words through their filter and arrives at some idea of what I originally intended to say.  There are a number of things that confuse the message.  If we are hurt or carry baggage we tend to be sensitive to anything that might victimize us.  If we are focused or driven we might be completely insensitive to those who complicate our task. 

When we earn the trust of others they give us more grace.  If they understand us, our hearers become better interpreters.  They begin to interpret our words in light of our character.  When we lack character we erode the trust others have placed in us.  This creates an environment ripe for misunderstandings and hurt feelings.  When our character is strong people feel secure with us.  They may not even understand what we say, but they will trust us because we have demonstrated a desire to live by ideals that are above and beyond our own wants, needs, desires and expectations. 

Sometimes I step back from life in general and ponder why it is we don’t extend one another a liberal amount of grace.  Life is difficult, and understanding is often hard to reach.  When we approach one another with fear or anger we have already handicapped our ability to hear and learn. 


  1. #1 by Carol on December 14, 2004 - 11:02 am

    Thanks for the reminder. I needed to hear this. I’m having to deal with some conflict today. 🙂

  2. #2 by Dave on December 15, 2004 - 8:54 am

    Appreciate your post, it speaks to me where I am at right now with someone very close.

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