Ok…. this happened to me today.. like just a few hours back…. and I wished there was a recording device stuck to our vocal chords that records every single word uttered, so we can trace or analyze it anytime we want. Hmmmmm… I imagined it like a Pensieve (the one in Harry Potter where Dumbledore kept his memories), but this…. Lets call it “Voicieve” probably keeps only sounds/words.
This way, each time a misunderstanding happens, we can trace back immediately and figure out what went wrong and how to avoid that in future. We are doing it the ‘manual’ way now, we asked the people involved, trying to recall every single related conversation, and often times, someone will lie through their teeth and not accept the blame, and in the end… we are left baffled wondering what was the whole miscommunication about.
Then I wonder.. is it just me? I experience this pretty often.. like… daily! Scrap that.. few times a day! Is it me that’s just bad in interpreting what people say? (now.. don’t answer that!!)
Answer these instead.
Have you ever felt puzzled why some things you say don’t come across as what you meant for them to be?
Have you ever wonder why a simple task can end up being so complicated because of things you or others say?
Have you ever felt amazed that even the intonation of your sentence can mean different things and cause a misunderstanding?
I remember this classic example….. one of the episode from the sitcom Friends.
The whole gang was in the apartment making Thanksgiving dinner together, and somehow in the midst of everything, they were rushing up to the rooftop to get a glimpse of some big giant balloon that got blown away….. and its coming towards their block. As they were going out the door…
Monica said to Rachel – “Got the keys”.
Now…. Monica thought she said “Got the keys?????” (with the question marks)
And… Rachel thought Monica said “Got the keys.” (full stop)
So obviously none of them grab the keys….. long story short… Thanksgiving dinner was ruin, everyone was mad.
They ended up blaming each other…
So #2 of 200 shall be either someone better come up with a “Voicieve” soon, a device to record every single word we say and maybe have a feature to help us enunciate better, maybe even a feature to use different set of words to articulate our thoughts.
We really need to practice thinking twice before saying something important, rephrasing it and even replay how it sounds in our head, before uttering it. Better still, at the risk of sounding very ‘cheung hei’, we should say it twice, or even thrice.
But since this is a written pls.. will just request for you to scroll up and read again. 😛
Guinea Pig’s contribution
I’ve heard this little tidbit about living ones life in both the secular and religious fronts, so there must be a degree of truth in it.
And if we believe that most of the time, we err on the “wrong” decision, rather than the “right” ones, then this principle should result in a better “hit rate.”
“Whatever you feel like doing, do the opposite”
(Note: This by no means suggest that we ignore our gut-feel; but to suggest that we tend to act counter-intuitively when emotional)
Check out the video here on the “pursuit of happiness” which was based on a 72-year Harvard study on aging. Among the ideas shared are that “my happiness isn’t about me”, “find something to prove”, “happiness is all about seeing the same things in a different light”, and “embracing the imperfection that is life.”