• Shelley

What Do You Actually Mean...

The dictionary defines communication as ‘the exchange or imparting of information by speaking, writing or some other medium’

Communication certainly conveys information but what it is and how it is meant…or understood…cannot just be assumed.

We fully appreciate that communicating in different languages may cause difficulties, but the latest neuroscience clearly shows that miscommunication happens much more than we may realise, even when we are speaking the same language. Somehow in these instances, we tend to assume that our way of sending and receiving information is the ‘right’ way.

Just because we say something and mean something by it, does not mean that others will necessarily understand it in that way and similarly, when they give us information, we may hear and interpret it very differently to what was intended.

Neurotypical and neurodivergent exchanges of information can be particularly prone to misunderstandings. Methods of communication, interpretation of body language, processing speeds, meanings given to language and many other factors that make up communication, may be vastly different between individuals with different neurologies and so the message can be muddled at some point.

Verbal communication is held in very high regard in our society and much success is measured by it. For those individuals who are not able to verbalise their thoughts, this may be seen as a sign that they have little to communicate or cannot understand what is going on around them. Yet when we know more about the person, this is often completely untrue.

It seems it would serve us all as humans to take a much broader and more humble approach to communication, assuming many misunderstandings and miscommunication on everyone’s part and working towards valuing all kinds of exchanging and imparting of information. Perhaps more emphasis on what is actually meant rather than what or how it is delivered, would be beneficial to all.

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