I heard what you said and you heard what you said. But, did you mean what I heard you say?
Isn’t it wild and wonderful the filters that we have as we communicate? Though you may say one thing and in your head and heart, you mean it to send a certain message–you have no guarantee that’s the message that is getting through!
As listeners, we come equipped with our own set of filters. Words and phrases that seemingly mean the same thing to everyone–do not. As they pass through our individual filters, they take on meanings that are in our filters–more often than not becoming tainted with feelings that were never the intent of the sender.
(I am a communications major, so things like this fascinate me, long after my academic days are over.)
How do we keep our messages clear? I’ve been thinking about it and I believe a sensitive person knows when their message hasn’t quite hit home the way it should have. In my opinion, the best way to offset negative filters is to ask your hearer exactly what they heard you say.
Sound complicated? Maybe so.