Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Ask Parvati 23: The Voice - To Speak Or Be Silent? Part 4: Gauge The Stage


(Continued from Part 3: Authentic Communication: From Goo to Grammar)

We are social, expressive beings. We need to connect. We need to touch, to laugh, to wiggle, to create as part of our inherent state of being. But finding out how to express in a way that helps make our message heard is a skill to be learned. How to express in way that is considerate yet not repressive is a point of contemplation. To express with trust, care, honesty and clarity is something most of us need to learn.

How many people give an honest reply when greeted with “Hello, how are you?” Our quip response is usually “fine” or “not too bad”. But what if we replied honestly, openly? Generally when one asks, one is not asking for an in-depth dissertation on how we are doing. We must gauge the questioner’s intention by observing their vocal tone, their mood, their presence and answer accordingly. To answer honestly and be sensitive to the questioner’s intention is a skill we learn.

We have all met people who when you ask them how they are, they go on and on. We have also met those who, when we ask them how they are, we can just tell they are not being honest. In learning to speak authentically, we learn to neither withhold, nor outpour. We learn to find right balance, to express that which feels true to who we are and respectful of others. We also learn to find a rightful place, to feel relaxed in who we are, and welcomed within the whole.

(Concludes tomorrow with Part 5: When To Voice, When To Be Silent)



  1. I am sometimes struggling with finding that right balance and express what is in my heart with authenticity and respect and not just blurting it out. Can you please say a little more about how to find that balance, if not in this blog, then perhaps in the next?

  2. Like many Aspies, I particularly detest small talk. I would much rather just acknowledge someone's presence with "Om namah shivaya" or a "namasté" salute/hand mudra than attempt insipid conversation about the weather just for the sake of not being silent. As for "how are you", I would be inclined to answer "shitty" if indeed that were the case. You don't have to be on the autism spectrum to have a low tolerance for BS. As the sappy Dan Hill song goes, "I'd rather hurt you honestly than mislead you with a lie".