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  • Writer's picturehilde

Are your words building bridges or walls?

Updated: Jan 9

Just a crazy thought... What if, you'd convey your message,

...without judging the other person?

...without making yourselves bigger than the other?

...without wanting to compete with the other?


How would you then convey your message?


Looking at the heated discussions on "social" media about developments in the world, I often wonder: What is the true intention behind the words? Is someone speaking to stroke their ego? To place themselves above the other? To “score”? Or does the message bring about compassion, connection, understanding and peace?

Of course, I'm no angel. I know all too well what it's like to speak from ego... It can feel so good sometimes to put someone in his place: to point out where he has a blind spot; is not well informed or does the morally wrong thing. It gives your ego a huge high and a feeling of “at least I'm doing well”.


This is also the fundament of political debates. Instead of utilising different viewpoints to come to a richer and more holistic solution, politicians tend to engage in a race to score points for individual gain. In this context, a conversation is just a battleground, without the collaborative spirit essential for progress. It does a lot of harm and unfortunately, it is the norm in our society.


How often do we communicate from a place of separation, but what we're actually yearning for is connection? Most conversations aren't meant for scoring points. It's not a competition. Certainly, expressing healthy anger has its place, especially in the face of injustice. But often, conversations turn sharp, without any reason for it, with words cutting through the air that divide rather than unite.


It’s remarkable what an impact the same message can have, when delivered with the intent of love and connection. In that regard, I love the book called “The Tao of Conversation: How to Talk about Things that Really Matter, in Ways that Encourage New Ideas, Deepen Intimacy, and Build Effective and Creative Working Relationships” by Michael Kahn.


Perhaps, this blog inspires you to take upon the experiment to reflect on your communication style for a day, by asking: Are my words building bridges or walls? Are they fostering understanding or division? Your influence lies not just in what you say but also in how you say it.


Rumi, the famous Persian poet, once said:

"Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates:

Is it true?

Is it necessary? Is it kind?"



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