“Be Impeccable With Your Word
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.”
- Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom
Words have power. Many terms mean nearly the same thing but may have a different connotation. For example, “stubborn” has a rather negative connotation, whereas “tenacious” is the same quality with a more positive tone. Often, one’s internal monologue (the communication one has with oneself) is rife with less than favorable comments. Many people speak to and about themselves in terms that they would be unlikely to use when talking to someone else. They also speak to themselves about others in ways that they may not want others to know. How one speaks to oneself and others indicates how he or she feels about self and others. Communication is an action and, therefore, causes an effect. That being said, when speaking, it is important to speak not only what you mean but with a direction toward what you want. If words are like seeds sowing ideas, sow the seeds that will grow the ideas that you want. When negative words are used, a negative idea will likely form; when positive words are used a positive idea will more likely grow. Speak positively to achieve a positive result and, rather than assume, verify understanding.
“He who can truly communicate to others is a higher being who builds new worlds.”
Hubbard knew the importance of words. He was aware of this so much so that he dedicated a large portion of his study technology to understanding the phenomenon of the misunderstood word, also referred to as MUs. When a person comes across a written or spoken word that he or she does not know, a confusion of the entire statement or piece of information can occur. This word may have a definition that the person does not know, or worse, the word may have been previously learned with an incorrect meaning. Since the person assigns the incorrect definition to the word, this misunderstood word can cause a misunderstanding of the whole communication.
Many arguments begin with a misunderstood word. With the two people speaking with two different understandings, the ARC (affinity, reality, and communication that make up understanding) drops. The argument heats up and both may leave the conversation, or even the relationship (blow) believing that the other person just didn’t understand what they were trying to say. This can happen even when the two are actually trying to communicate. How much more likely is it to occur when a person is speaking without personal integrity, or is being covertly hostile.
“Freedom for man
does not mean
freedom to injure man
Freedom of speech
does not mean
Freedom to harm by lies”
It has been stated by others that by speaking respectfully to others, one is being wishy washy. It has been stated that if one does not tell someone exactly how irritating one finds the other person, one is lying. There is more than one way to state something. By changing one’s internal monologue to one that is more positive rather than negative and uses positive words instead of negative words, one can raise his or her ARC with others in general. When a person tells himself that a certain person is irritating and a waste of time, it is much easier for that person to convince himself of the truth of this sentiment. This, in turn, allows him to justify less than positive communications with and about the other.
Words can be used to tear one down or they can be used to build one up. Whether used as part of one’s internal monologue or in a discussion with a colleague, by using positively toned words can make the situation better. Positive words can motivate.
“Communication is the universal solvent.”
- L. Ron Hubbard