You can do a lot with words, that’s for sure, but they’re not enough. No matter how hard you try to be careful about what you say, no matter how carefully you select your words, it’s so easy for them to hit the person you’re talking to the wrong way.
For them to be misinterpreted.
When we think about misunderstandings, it’s typically the more dramatic conflicts that come to mind. Situations in which you said something harmlessly and the other person heard it differently than you intended, assumed you felt a different way than you actually did, and took great offense.
These are most memorable because of everything that typically follows.
But the truth is that we have way more miscommunications with other people than we realize. And we never really notice most of them when they’re happening. Because a lot of these misinterpretations are harmless — at least when taken in isolation.
The trouble, however, is that over the weeks, months, and years, these harmless miscommunications can pile on top of one another. You can easily form false beliefs about someone who you are trying desperately to communicate well with — and who is also on the other side of things trying desperately to listen and understand you.
And it’s really frustrating. How we end up driving down roads that no one really wanted to go down anyway. How we’re tasked then with finding our way back.
So I really wish there were something more than words. I wish that I didn’t have to translate my feelings into words and then for you to take those words and re-translate them into some idea of what I felt on your end. Because so much is lost in translation. So much that can hurt both of us.
I wish instead that I could send feelings to you when I have them. Or even that by hearing my words, the feeling would follow, without that extra step of re-translation. I wish what I truly felt could leap off what I said. Latch on to you.
And that you could feel it too.