What to watch for in real communication

Let's talk about communication, and listening to people, and learning to understand people.

Most people, when in a conversation with someone, spend the entire time trying to figure out what to say next. If you get it wrong, if you say something stupid, they like you less, you lose social status. So you don't really listen to someone, because you're too afraid you'll screw up.

Here's what'll help you to practise the ideas in this recording, and maintain control in the conversation:
* Talk slower. You want to talk fast, because you think that when you take the time to consider what you say, someone else steps in and takes the turn away from you. It's not true. Talking softly and slowly, and saying the right thing at the right moment, gets better results than talking fast.
* Repeat it. If you try to compete with people in volume, you end up exhausted and out of energy. If they change the subject, you just ask the same question again. After a while they just give in.

Here is a new kind of paying attention in conversations, one that will take time to develop and get good at. If you're going to talk about something more than non-conversation like talking about the weather, this is useful.

As soon as you talk about something real, start touching the places inside that have strong emotion tied to it and really matter, people are going to freak out a bit. They're challenged to change. At first they will be shocked and just spill whatever is there. But shortly after, a few minutes, a few moments, they realise that this is scary, secret stuff, and they start denying they ever said anything. There is a need to understand how they respond to change.

The response of being freaked out at chance, doesn't come from the higher processing centers, it's a very primal, primitive thing. When real conversation happens, people will respond one of three ways.
1. Fight. This includes anybody who says "no" or "but" at the start of the sentence. They will generally get in your face and oppose you, aggressively. It can also include pushing you away, calling you names, or saying you're lying.
2. Flee. Sometimes they'll bolt for the door straight out, or suddenly look at their watch and need to be somewhere. More often, it will be a conversational running away, like changing the subject. Their pupils may dilate, they may rock back and forth, they look like freaked out animals.
3. Freeze. You can recognise this when the person just stops talking.
It may be more than one, and it may not be obvious that they are doing this at first. Once you can recognise these, you can respond to the frightened animal, reassure it, and only then continue the real conversation.

Angel, 2015-04-03

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