Hello, my beautiful and almost free human beings.
Today I want to reflect on some perspectives, that hopefully, can help more people to communicate on a deeper level, be fulfilled by quality connection and understand the context and create new contexts.
I will divide this post into a few parts, as even communication itself seems very simple and easy, it's multi-layered action and event. And it always has a context.
To explain what context is, I will give an example, of how I came out with this topic and why I think it's important to share.
My personal context
Context - the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood.
My greatest skill - is communication, alongside a fast-learning.
I've never been a big fan of existentialism and going too deep into my own being, as it was very obvious to me how we operate. You just FEEL what you have to do and you just do it.
Responding to the outer world is how you navigate.
My action-oriented mind never put me deep into the overthinking process... until a few years ago. When I decided to drastically change the direction of my life.
And now I am a "recovering overthinker" ( check out this project, I am in love with it: https://www.instagram.com/recovering.overthinker/?hl=en).
I admit how this journey to an inner rabbit hole affected one of my primary skills, which I've always been one of the best in - Communication and Action.
Until a certain point in life, I saw how usually everyone around, but me struggled with this overthinking loop and that it was difficult for them to establish some deep, genuine and nurturing connections.
And I started wondering, why everything started feeling so wrong in my universe and how can I fix it and help others overcome this small but annoyingly powerful thing that stops us from proper and amazing communication with this world outside.
Hopefully, this post can assist those, who got into a trap of overthinking and want to leave it aside and recover some crucial parts of our social existence that might have been affected by this state - Communication & Connection.
Or just help everyone else to understand communication better and improve it.
Communication is simply understood as a transmission of information. There are different channels of communication, purposes and contexts.
There is internal communication (hello our self-critic that can't shut up), interpersonal communication and our own communication with the outer world.
In a modern world, in my personal, humble opinion, the way we communicate with the outside world is pretty f*cked up because of the number of channels we receive information through and the way these channels broadcast information - creates a lot of distortion, noise and basically, they transmit infinite pieces of information, not related to one another.
Art by Kotryna (aka Kata)
That creates a huge fog in our brains and it becomes difficult to navigate.
Here you have a piece of information from the Bible on TikTok, here is a cut from Kardashian's show, here is a spiritual guru's knowledge, here is a promoter of productive productiveness etc.
The way we learn about this world has changed. The way we communicate changed. The way we try to find a partner - changed.
One of the biggest issues in dating life, for example, is that the context and purpose of communication are already set. So that creates some sort of expectations on both sides, neglecting the natural flow that is crucial to create a profound connection.
For the hook-up culture, it is a blooming season. However, it became such a pattern, when one is aware of the context of the platform - hook-up strictly - and another one is hoping that it can be transformed into something more.
That creates a lack of profound and honest communication from the very beginning as well as a bunch of disappointing experiences.
But let's leave a dating context aside, as it's material for the whole book of rules, and just take note of the importance of the context in communication in regard to establishing something genuine and profound.
Context is the key to Connection
The one who is able to understand and see the context of a 'soul' (=individual), that one is able to establish or evolve communication and connection overall.
This neat example is from a 1955 experiment by Jerome Bruner and A. Leigh Minturn.
That means if you can see the context of this particular communication, it's easier to navigate in establishing something deep and profound connection.
Of course, the higher level of profound communication is to be connected to your feelings and intuition and go with the flow. So you don't overanalyse your connections.
But in some cases, it can be very helpful.
For example, you have a colleague. Let's say it is your manager. And you are not sure if he/she is just friendly, or if something's going on there. Your context of communication will always be in the field of "work". Work is the context of this communication. And it has some rules, some pathways and some directions.
Of course, it happens, when someone you work with is also your friend. In this case, additional context will add - the context of the friendship.
And the mastery here should go to another level - knowing when to switch between these two and how not to extrapolate actions from one context (working) to another context (friendship).
Once I've been working in the company and there was a contest for the Head position. There were several candidates including me.
I was sure that I will get that position, as I'd been working hard, I was in amazing relationships with other managers and employees and there wasn't even a doubt about getting a promotion. It was obvious not only to me but to higher management and other colleagues, that some (most) candidates are not even close to meeting the requirements.
And yes, I got a promotion. And one of the candidates got mad at me.
After the promotion, she had to be reporting directly to me.
Oh. It was awkward!
First of all, for me as an experienced manager and someone who has a very good sense of people, it was obvious, that her reaction is not nearly adequate and was out of context, however, we are all human beings and of course, it might be upsetting.
I saw how these role switches affected her behaviour on a daily basis. Which was not very professional.
So I went to sort it out with her. To understand her reaction (context) better and establish our further cooperation.
She was expecting me to apologize to her for getting a promotion. I had to explain, that I didn't promote myself and it was a simple fair competition from the company and I will be more than happy to help her grow to get a promotion in the future.
I had to explain to her the context of the situation to move on and work better together. And we did it.
What can damage a quality communication and connection?
I started with overthinking and now I want to bring more attention and perspective on how it can affect real-time communication.
And why overthinking is one of the main reasons, that can keep us isolated, upset, and stuck.
'breathing' collage by Gray Wielebinski
First of all, communication for us is important. We are social beings and it's difficult for us to be alone. It's a mastery. It's important to learn how to be alone, but we can't be isolated forever.
If our communications are poor, it affects our well-being and mood.
Since we all experienced social isolation, we admitted how it can be damaging to us to a certain degree.
Overthinking plays a big role in establishing a quality connection with the outer world.
It affects our response to impulses from the outside.
Because an impulse ('outreach') can catch us in the middle of some digging into our own mind, our reaction to this outer impulse can be "inadequate" and can be related to that place of mind where we were wondering in our tasty overthinking process, when we got "distracted".
And that inadequate reaction creates a "misunderstanding" which as a result can damage a real connection outside.
The brain doesn't make a difference between something happening in the "dream" or in the "memory". When we go to Overthinking Land, it is very similar to the imagination process. So the brain reacts to those processes inside as if they are real.
With this being said, I will leave more reflections on this topic for the next part and wish you an amazing Friday with real-time communication, that will nurture you.
To be continued...