Communication -v- Age of the Ersatz
Have you ever noticed how much communication has become utterly meaningless – “have a nice day”, “miss you already”, even “love you” have become words that are just spewed out with no sincerity whatsoever. Other words like awesome – “oh yea, that’s awesome” have become demoted to the utterly banal, often used to describe people, situations or events that are far from awesome! Then there’s the ridiculous “I’m so excited to share this with you/be here/see this, ….. etc.” As if everything has to be hyped up to excitement levels before our jaded attention can be grabbed and held. If some total stranger on the phone asks me “how are you today?” I’m tempted to respond with “why do you ask?” Another word bug that’s spreading is the way people now end their phone calls with the rushed: “bye, bye, …….. bye, bye, bye, ….. bye, bye” as if they’re hurrying you off the phone.
When we hear enough of this verbal rubbish, we tend to shut down and just stop listening. Genuine communication dies and we’re just throwing out sound bytes for set situations.
Becoming more conscious means that we communicate in ways that are more meaningful, sincere and of course far more satisfactory. Have you ever noticed that when you really listen to another person (rather than thinking up a reply or chattering away in your own thoughts), they will, in most cases, honour you by listening to what you have to say. Often non stop talkers have never been truly heard and their nervous energy drives them into this unconscious way of filling silence; “As long as I keep talking I can keep her engaged in this superficial mode and avoid what’s going on deeper within me”
In my practise I often ask people to tune into the energy behind their words – what they’re actually feeling as they speak. They’re often surprised to discover that their non stop talk is actually a means of covering up/avoiding a continuous nervous tension that’s been there for most of their life. Becoming calm and centred gives us so much more space to be present, to be aware of what’s really going on rather than needing to drown out our inner chaos. When we’re more present and aware, we automatically become more authentic – what we say has real meaning and we don’t need to spew out silence fillers. Next time you’re talking to someone, just observe the way you talk and the way you listen. You may be very surprised at the huge difference just being aware of what you’re saying will make. You may also find that genuine laughter and fun arises – you can enjoy the other person on a much deeper level where there is a REAL connection and communication.