Page 11 - Read My Mind Best of 2017
P. 11

The Transformative Potential of a Whisper

March 17, 2017 by Bard Azima

In a world of perpetual noise, it sometimes      This will prepare you for the inevitable
feels as if the only way we’ll be heard is by    unconscious attack that will come your
being louder. In this environment, what          way. When that happens, because you
place is there for a whisper?                    have anticipated this, you are prepared to
                                                 not be triggered.
Try it for yourself and find out. Try it with a
loved one, with your child, especially           Instead of automatically returning
when you are imparting sensitive                 matching fire, choose to lower your voice
information that is sure to trigger them.        and be easy. It may take several occasions
Try it with someone on the opposite side         for this approach to shift a pattern. But
of the political spectrum.                       often a small, yet profound, shift happens
                                                 right away because every fibre of the
They will lean in to hear you. They will be      other person is expecting to receive back
more open to your words because a                what they are dishing out. What happens
whisper is much less threatening. Because        when they get something else? Something
they will not have the excuse to ignore          more kind, more gentle, more respectful,
your words by focusing on your aggressive        more caring?
directness that you justify because you are
right and they are wrong.                        Try it and find out. At the very least, you
                                                 will feel better about your own behaviour.
One thing: this whisper must come from a         It’s personally healing to reduce our
centered place; steeped in compassion and        contribution to conflict and trauma.
non-judgment, understanding that the             Beyond that, you might be amazed when
recipient’s position is always genuine,          you witness the other person, whose
despite what we may believe. From this           expectations have been turned on their
gentle place, it is nothing short of amazing     heads, wondering what is going on.
the inroads that can be made, even with          Suddenly, their defenses are lowered just
the most resistant people.                       a little.

Try it out with someone you always butt          Here lies the opportunity for connection.
heads with. Pretend it’s a game. Refuse to       In this moment, the power of a
play your usual part in the dysfunctional        compassionate whisper will become
relationship by tapping into your empathy.       perfectly evident.


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