Posted by: innerpilgrimage | June 13, 2011

See Me, Hear Me, Touch Me . . . Heal Me

      Yes, this is an intended misquote of the lyrics from The Who’s song from the rock opera, Tommy. I have a good reason, though, having to do with a book I just found insightful, just tuned in to the harmonious phrases, just ploughed through with delight and excitement.

      Entitled How To Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less, this little volume by Nicholas Boothman sounds like the kind of book that encourages manipulation of others’ views, self-expressions, and feelings. Oddly enough, in theory it could be used that way, but–with the right intent fueling it–the suggestions seem to work better with a person aligned to the desire to simply connect to people. Manipulation, after all, is about winners and losers; rapport is about mutually beneficial communication. This is where that insight, listening to the inner voice, and instinct come in–trust that anything that appears askew, that sounds dissonant, that doesn’t feel right is an invitation to question the person’s intent toward the intended recipient, ie. myself.
      At this point, I accept it’s clear (heh, I’m a hardcore visual-dominant communicator, despite preferring the auditory-dominant means of writing as my preferred medium of communication and the feeling-dominant means of self-comfort) that what’s been written above is meant to communicate to the three types of recipients: those who use sight, those who use hearing, and those who use sensory perception to communicate. When we balance all three to get our message out, Mr. Boothman surmises, then individualize the communication to a single recipient (in one-on-one conversation), we are more likely to have what we’re showing, expressing, or sending out to be seen, to be heard, or to be felt by the recipient.
      All of us use all three, but one is dominant. Telling a visual-primary or sensory-primary person “You’re not listening to me!” falls on deaf ears because the language isn’t clear or felt right. It will, however, connect with a hearing-dominant person, who can tune in to the expression of despair with blocked communication. Using the right words (for a visual person, maybe, “Can’t you see what I’m trying to say?” and for a feeling person, “Can you feel how frustrated I am by this communication obstacle?”) clarifies, resonates, or hits home with the recipient.
      I got a lot from this book once I shifted mental gears from thinking it’s an instruction manual for manipulation to considering it is a tool to create connections. It addresses a serious problem many have with having our sent messages received. While one can luck into having a secondary communication strength accept the information properly, tailoring communication style to the receiver is one’s best bet for effective and efficient communication.
      As social animals, part of our core requirements to survival is the human connection. No man is an island, and trying to be an island may appear and sound safe, but it leaves one feeling painfully alone. Mutually beneficial communication raises one’s energy and is a means to self-care that can create abundance. The hard part is asking for and accepting help from others–especially after living a life where relying on another person whose intentions are win-lose instead of mutually beneficial has led to fears (and sometimes the reality) of core survival needs going unmet.
      Part of the message of the book is to be one’s self–that trying to mold one’s self into an image of what we believe others want to see, hear, or sense radiates a dissonance that creates a fear-reaction. To be trustworthy, we have to be our imperfect selves.
      Yesterday, I became aware of some ugly truths about myself. First, I am a manipulator. Happily, this isn’t how I WANT to be, but the fear of getting expectations and my basic survival requirements go unmet has brought me to a regular practice of the coping mechanism of finding a formula that works on people like me. I find it cruel, and it sounds unsavory to me. It creates harm and pain, because I am seeking to create hoardable abundance through taking from others. There is no adulation except in my head when I cross that finish line first and grab the gold medal by crippling someone else into not finishing the race. The win does not satisfy; the award of filling my needs at the price of others looks ugly; I express dissonance in my words and actions.
      With an attitude that my intentions are to create connections which heal and are mutually beneficial, I enter into rapport with an honest self. Another may insist on conflict, and that’s okay. I can back out and find someone else who wants to work with me instead of take from me. It’s not about rejection of me as much as their own vision or their own expression of–or their own hunger for–the acquisition of more, more, more to guarantee personal survival at any cost.
      The price of another’s well-being is one I do not want to pay. I have a lot of progress-work, of practice to align my desire and intent to heal with my spiritual self. I’ve lived askew, in dissonance, outside of my BE-ing for so long that I’ve learned to DO in order to survive. To thrive? I have been offered tools to help change the things I can change. The strength to build a home in the silent space where serenity and peace can be achieved is sourced from my connection to my Higher Power.
      As a visual communicator, I tend to first envision these things logically. Yet they also sound harmonious. And they feel sensible. Truth, it seems is communicated on all three levels at all times–just like a good piece of writing balances setting, ambient sounds (including dialogue), and action. Hm. Something to consider.
      My name is Jess (rhymes with “mess” or “stress”), and I am a food addict and approval addict (longing for the sensory feel-good hit because I can’t generate it myself naturally though I crave it). That approval/love addiction may be connected to a potential adrenaline addiction–the hit of making a successful connection, or a manipulative “win” being the whole purpose of it. The thrill of feeling anything, when I’ve artfully pushed down my honest emotions in order to protect my heart from the world. It’s going to take time, but at least awareness is allowing me to consider where to set the puzzle pieces, as opposed to leaving the puzzle box closed and shaking the box in hopes the puzzle just falls together by itself.


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