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Every Conversation Starts With You

You're talking with a friend, partner or coworker and something they say strikes you the wrong way.

You’re triggered by their statement and suddenly, you’re no longer listening to the conversation but instead traveling in your mind to a time where you’ve heard those words (or something similar) before. At this point, you may feel like someone has done something to hurt or injure you. But the truth is, you’re experiencing an intersection of what someone has said and what you believe (or are afraid) is true.  

Every conversation with others is shaped by your conversations with yourself.

And only when you become aware of your own judgements and thoughts, fears and pains, feelings and desires, can you begin to hear the words of others in a more true form - with openness and clarity, rather than the fuzzy filter of your own internal experience.

When we hear others' words and perspectives, we typically unconsciously run them through our own filter - "Is this true of me?", "This not true of me.", "Sometimes?", "Never!".

Just as someone is open and vulnerable enough to share their thoughts and perspectives with us - we are labeling them with judgements, swiftly placing them into categories we know and understand, like a feedback ninja!

This practice allows us to take words, thoughts and perspectives from someone else (uncontrollable) and transform them into something that feels controllable and contained. The benefit of this is intuitive. We don't have to hear information that will contrast with what we already think or 'know'. Or even more compelling, we can push away information that might corroborate some of our deepest fears: of being imperfect, unworthy, or unlovable.

We can proceed through our days as the expert on everything we thought we were, unchallenged. It feels safer that way. Comfortable.

And the alternative feels unsettling at best and often terrifying. The alternative is that we don't 'know' everything we think we do - even about ourselves - and we are on constantly shifting ground. This is only terrifying if we are stuck, rigid, or immobile. When we become aware of this tendency in ourselves, we can stretch, loosen up, learn to be nimble and agile in our thoughts and 'knowing' of things.  

Open360 is a great tool to help you shift your thinking and approach. Because we've been there. We are there! And we've collectively spent a lifetime discovering tools, tips and practices that can help you talk - not only with yourself - but with others. Working with the shifting ground can be fun - let's turn it into a little dance party!

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