My back went up immediately when I read the email. Here was the judgment I’d been expecting since being vulnerable and admitting my problem.
I’d been pleasantly surprised by the overwhelming support and encouragement I’d received. Now, this one negative came along and was having a much bigger effect on me than it should. I was upset with myself and the person who sent the message.
Upon reading the email again, I discovered the comment made was neither negative nor positive. It was simply a neutral statement. Since this was a sensitive topic for me my interpretation was negative and I took offense.
The fact is only 7% of communication is the words. I was not getting the 38% that is made up of the tone of voice, inflection and volume. Also missing was the 55% that facial expression and body language represent.
When I read something I need to take into consideration how I’m feeling at the time. My emotions can change the tone of what I read and turn an innocent statement into something offensive.
The same hold true with my communication with others. Sometimes, even with more than the 7%, my intentions are misunderstood. I need to take responsibility for my words and also for how I react to those directed to me.
How about you? Do you also get caught up in the words and your emotions and forget the 7% rule?
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” George Bernard Shaw