Have you ever heard someone say, “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard”? Of course you have. And not only have you heard it said, it is more than likely that you have said it as well. And at the time it may have been appropriate, but I want to challenge the thought behind the message.
We have a very interesting listening mechanism built into us human beings. From an early age we are programed to hear things in ways that fit into our reality. In other words, if it doesn’t make sense to us, we sometimes belittle it or change it into something else. “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard” is just a saying to get us into the normality that we feel comfortable with. Moreover, rather than clear up what was just said or have an open dialogue, we cut off all further conversation.
In his latest book Mancode Secrets Revealed, Jay Simcic covers this in great detail. If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest you pick it up at Amazon.com through the Kindle Store. It’s worth the read.
It explains that we seem to filter everything we hear through what we already know. By doing so, it is very limiting in how and what we learn. And just imagine what it means to our relationships…
Did You Hear That?
Since being in a relationship is emotional, we have our antenna up in order to catch the deeper meaning of the communications within them. Additionally, in a relationship we filter what we hear by how previous relationships have played out over time. We will hear something and reference how it was delivered before and convert the message directly to the “good” or “bad” of the prior situation. But the messages, although worded similarly could be miles apart from each other.
For instance, Ray and his former girlfriend Sarah had an argument that led to the ending of their relationship. Ray had gone out for the evening with some of his college buddies. They watched football and drank beer. One of the guys named Gary met a girl and went home with her. This particular guy was dating Sarah’s best friend. Some how, Sarah discovered Gary’s infidelity and shared it with her girlfriend. This of course, ended that relationship.
When Sarah confronted Ray about the incident, she demanded to know why did nothing to prevent Gary from going home with the other woman. Ray said he was helpless to prevent it and didn’t even know Gary had left with a woman until after he was gone. Sarah was angry hurt about what happened to her girlfriend and was taking it out on Ray. Over and over she would say, “You’re just like him” and “All men are the same”. Ray was not able to convince Sarah of his innocence and the relationship ended soon after.
From that point on, Ray was hyper sensitive to those two phrases, “You’re just like him” and “All men are the same”. When they were originally said by Sarah, the delivery was hostile, through yelling and a heated argument. And yet they never left Ray’s memory.
In his new relationship Ray’s girlfriend would often joke that “All men are the same”. And at first Ray was defensive about the statement. When he realized she was saying it in jest, Ray understood but didn’t like her use of the phrase. It was harmless but the memory was still rather painful. He always had to caution himself when his new girlfriend would use similar phrases in joking.
The Wrong Word in the Right Ear…
From time to time a phrase or saying may incite feelings that are not common with the statement. At these times it is important to dig into where the feeling come from and when they originated. Getting to the bottom of it will help with the feelings of today.
Remember, we listen through our programming filters and try to make the statements of today fit into what we know of days gone by. Try to work through what’s there and don’t be afraid to ask a question in order to have the statement put another way that will assist in getting past it.
There may not be any reason to get upset with the way someone said a particular phrase. Put one way and it may be the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard, re-worded and it may open up something to be explored.
Give it a try and let me know how it works out and if anything opens up for you.
Love with no shame and ask with no fear