I see dead people talking
Have you ever met a person who when they enter a room, you feel a warmth, a smile stretch across your face, your shoulders relax, your breathing steadies? I’m sure you have…maybe a lover, friend, someone you admire, maybe even a stranger? Okay..have you ever met a person who even from the beginning of that meeting, your hackles went up, you felt your shoulders hunch, and the room suddenly felt chilly? I suspect this feeling is a very primal feeling..an animal instinct.Because, I suspect this instinct comes at us from non-verbal communication. Or rather it’s not the words that the person is saying, it’s everything else. Have you ever noticed that for one to detect sincerity it doesn’t need to be heard? It can be felt in the way someone positions themselves to you, in their eyes, in their mannerisms? Of course, I can’t believe they think they are getting away with their exiguous gestures…I feel like saying ‘ I can read you so clearly..stop pretending, let the charade cease please!’ But no, we just nod, or try to avoid their eyes because they seem so dead and cold. Of course avoiding eye contact can also be read by another person as 1. inferiority complex, or 2. guilt. So we must face the orbs of winter! We must be brave and know that we know and they remain oblivious.
What are we doing when we are talking? What are we saying when we are saying something?
Is it to win someone over to our side of a story? Is it to tell our tale because we need to talk otherwise we don’t exist?
I know that much communication, both non-verbal and verbal IS about the attempt of one or more people to make meaningful connections, to engage in the sharing of perspectives, develop and extend their understanding, challenge and contest knowledge, create new synaptic pathways of understanding, learning, scope…HOWEVER…so much of it seems to be about POWER. The ego…essential for creating a subjectivity and being able to interact as a social being…grows to such importance that the messenger becomes more important than the message. AND people manipulate each other through a combination of mannerisms and words and their associated position constructed in society. I know this is such a simple explanation but I would love to hear more talking in the spirit of sharing and listening–in developing more intricate and moving experiences of ourselves and the our world than just the gibber-gabber goobledegook that we all do. Less ‘bossing and demanding, less coercing and manipulation’…more passionate dialectic–more singing, more art, more silence that is not the silence of the oppressed but the silence of the introspective deeply engaged being. More wit and gumption, heart and panache…oh and more silliness! Yes silliness please! More laughter…eeek in a serious corporate world of outcomes and adjustments and pep talks and money and serious adult considerations, and justifications and distribution of responsibility and power… more laughing!! Not the kind of forced laughing you feel you have to do to fit in with the team or group of people which thereby asserts you are part of the team and you are not a threat to the joker, but real guffawing ROFL with the possibility of peeing your pants and forgetting for one moment that you were a responsible
communicating adult. We have constructed guardhouses with our own hands, some of them made of words, we have fabricated tombs that we live in and starved the offspring of our imaginations so that the responsible adult may live. But what is the ransom of this hostage crisis? To live half-lives…regarding the dreams of youth as simply no longer ours to have..but another generations to dream? It is a high-price..and a price that has no insurance policy.