Different words for a Different world

Yesterday evening I promised to a friend that she would have read the article this morning. So here I am at 2.30 am in the night, writing it. It is not my usual, in fact I generally respect my sleeping schedule (Why? you can find it in this article). But commit yourself publicly is a great way to make you motivate to do things even when you are tired.

What you’ll read today/tonight is the way in which we communicate choosing different words affect different responses.

First of all I want to tell you a story that I read some years ago on a web page.

An homeless blind man used to ask for charity in the street. He was every day at the same place just with a little plate and a sign with written on “I’m blind. Please help”. One day a famous designer passed in the street and she sow the man. She came near him, took the sign and on the back of it she wrote something. Before the blind man could say something she was already gone. But he could just touch the shoes of her. Some days passed and coins was arriving in the plate of the blind man as never before. After few days a woman stopped in front of the blind man. He touched her shoes and he recognise that was the same woman whom wrote his sign. Amazed from what happened he asked her “what did you wrote on it?”. She said, “I just changed the words to say the same thing”.

She wrote “today it’s a beautiful day and I can’t see it”.

Yesterday I just found the video of this story.

This is actually what can happen when just changing words. We are responsible for our communication. You could not be aware of it but you have total freedom to modify the way in which you communicate. The meaning of communication is the result that you want to achieve with it. It can be having a good relation with your friends, family and lover. It can be making people laugh, or still give a professional image of you to your customers and colleagues.

Whatever is your goal first of all you have to be aware of the way in which you use language. Remember a thing, is not possible to not communicate. Everything you will do or won’t do it will be interpreted from others and it will give a message.

Conjunctions

Let’s start whit conjunctions. The way in which we connects different part of a sentence affect the meaning of the same. The most common conjunctions are “And”,”Or” and “But”.

But: The use of this word imply that we are going to negate the sentence that it was said before. Let’s take the example, “Marco is a good guy, but he is always late”. That’s mean that despite Marco is a good guy, we point the attention on the fact that he is always late. At the contrary “Marco is always late, but he is a good guy”, put emphasis on the second part of the sentence, resulting that even if Marco is always late he remain a good guy. The part of the sentence that follows the “But” is the one that gets importance. So, be aware of the use that you make of this word and use it if you want to put stress on a specific point.

And: It is the most used of the conjunctions and it give unions to the parts that are tied together with this word. For example “Marco is a good guy and he is always late”. Unlike of the “But”, “And” doesn’t give more relevance to one of the two parts of the sentence.

Or: Or simply indicated the open option between the two part of a sentence. The conditions cannot be verified at the same time. In the example, “Marco is a good guy or he is late”. The verifying of one condition exclude the possibility of the other to became true.

Positive Language

Trying to understand a negative message require more energy than for a positive one. Let’s make an example.

Don’t bring the book to the library after 7 pm, please. It won’t be open”.

In the sentence the message is express negatively. It is said what it has not to be done (don’t bring), and the negative conditions (The library won’t be open after 7 pm). A negative message has to be translated in it positive way to be understood. Using positive language simplify the process. Another reason for using positive messages is that you can more clearly express what you want instead of what you don’t want. If you ask to someone what do he want to drink and he answer you not water this would just express what he doesn’t want. In a positive language the sentence would be:

“Please, bring the book to the library before 7pm. It will be open.”

It is said what to do and when to do it. The message is surely clearer than before.

Avoid Weakeners

Words like “try”, “hope”, “maybe”, “perhaps” and “I’ll do my best” indicates a strong condition of uncertainty.

Who says “I hope that”, “I’ll try to”, “maybe I will”, already indicates that he believe in the failure of what he’s going to say. He implicitly recognise that there is a vast probability of failing. That is “bad” because trough this words we strongly influence the possibility of realisation. Our thought and our words are self fulfilling mechanisms of success. If you express failure with your words you’ll probably going to meet it.

Instead of this words just say I will do this I’ll make it. As Master Yoda says “do or do not, there is no try”.

Thanks for reading.

See you at the next post,

Alberto

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