Sitting in the dentist chair this morning, the same dentist chair I’ve sat in for the past 11 years, Dr. J walks in: “Sara! What’s new with you?” …“Ah, so the yoga thing, right? That’s what you’ve chosen to do with your degree? Well, there’s always time to put it to use, someday maybe you will.” I felt my jaw clench as I looked up from the chair into Dr. J’s dentist binoculars looking down at me. Swallow it Sara, he’s gripping a metal mouse-sized hook that’s about to go in the same mouth the next words you utter come out of. I took a deep breath and pretended not to notice the backhanded stab at my pursuits. As much as you can actually have a conversation with a dentist as they work on your teeth, Dr. J has always impressed me with how much he’d remember about what we talked about the last time I came in. He has also always been so supportive and kind.
I think people generally mean well, but sometimes do not consider if their intention matches the message they give. Without over-thinking it, it is up to the receiver to read between the lines at times, in order to get the big picture. For that, I believe the best tool we have is our ability to empathize. I really don’t care what my dentist thinks about my choices; guess what Dr. J? I also like sticky candy too. However, despite the initial defensive reaction I felt, I let it go almost immediately. Since yoga is my passion I do have a yearning to defend it; no, not many get it, and for those I won’t waste my breath. Since I have known my dentist a while, I do not think he intended to unsettle me with his words, so I moved on. This story is a typical experience of something that can be taken the wrong way, the right way, out of context or possibly even elevate a situation. The idea of connecting intention and message can help to more accurately communicate.
Here are some points to consider: [Read more…] about Message vs. Intention