Whenever I read something, I put a tone to the way I read the words in my head. You probably do the same and sometimes we get the message wrong.
Oftentimes we project our feelings through the words we read, we let little things like the CAPitalizationS or punctuation!! to dictate the mood; we let our perception of the moment to influence the way we hear things in our head and give the wrong meaning or intention to other people’s words.
No matter what goes on, there is always a tone in our head and we need to be mindful of it, especially when they come from people close to us.
I have found that
- Tone is key to get the correct message.
- Context is key to get the correct tone.
- Empathy is needed to find the correct intention and intonation behind the words.
Sometimes, we get the meaning right the first time; sometimes, we need to let the words simmer and get back to them later.
Written words are just as, if not more, powerful than the spoken version, because in the listening of the words we remove our perceived interpretation from it, while in the written version, we sugar coat them with our own.
Don’t believe me?
Find a book, any, chose a paragraph and read it in silence; now, go find the audio version of the same book and have a listen, is it the same tone? Maybe not.
So, next time you find yourselves reacting to other people’s words, take a moment and think them through, is the tone I am putting to the words the correct one? Chances are the answer is yes, but chances are you might have a second thought about them.