In their effort to belong, people will seek to have a behavior that corresponds to the behavior they think others expect of them.
It’s a complicated concept.
It involves knowing what other people think.
It requires to predict how our behavior will be perceived.
To simplify things stereotypes are at hand.
To simplify things even further, words come with built-in judgments.
Whenever people are not sure if they can have an intention and act on it, they add that it feels like manipulation.
When they jump to a conclusion, they’ll explain that it is an interpretation.
When they’ve shared their opinion and don’t find it welcome, they’ll share that there is tension in the room.
The more people use words to protect themselves, the more these words gain in negative connotation. It shapes the meaning of words. Words become judgments. Judgments then shape the way people think they can interact with one another.
Taking tension as an example. It’s a word that has become perceived as something to be avoided. Most probably because of the idea that it is in the way of an ideal called harmony.
That is misunderstanding how tension serves any duality. It’s the difference between both states.
May it be the duality between conflict and harmony, the one between want and have, or one between anxiety and courage. None of these differences can be negative. It’s the pull between both.
Tension enables dynamic, it creates movement, it leads to change.
That’s what people might not want.
The feeling that they might not be aligned. That they might not belong.
That they might have to contribute something to do so.
As much as people try, words can’t change this.
Using words to avoid judgments for oneself or to deliver judgments to others serve the outcome of this very judgment.
It’s deciding for others.
It’s excluding oneself or others.