I kill off who I really am by talking in a manner deliberately calculated not to disturb others. It’s not what I say, but how I say it. I often talk in anodynes, and it is killing me.
I am afraid others, including you, my friend, will “get upset” if I say what there is for me to say, that is, if I just say what I see. When I’m afraid, I stop communicating, or sell out by using anodynes, or other kinds of wishy-washy language.
Phenomenologically, the situation that this area is for me, as an area of an occurring world, a seeming that the world is, what it is, how it is, and who I am in the situation is an imagining.
Paradoxically, the access to freedom, power and self expression in this area is in listening.
How it seems (A story some of you might find yourself in.)
Much of the time, I already beforehand know: how/why/and to what effect, others will attempt to avoid the possibilities disclosed in my talk.
I rob them of the possibility of being engaged with life, and specifically with what my direct straight talk would reveal for them. [For example I won’t say to my boss: “Customers won’t buy the product we are making.”]
I am self righteousness and self justifying. I tell myself, “I see things they don’t dare see.” I dominate others being clever, by dribbling out disclosures to them in order to get maximum looking good points. I go along with the illusion, building the stupid product, collecting the paycheck, telling lies like: “Yes I agree with you boss, that feature’s really great!”
In fairness, I really am doing the job I’m being paid for. But I have resigned myself to self censored communication, feigned support, and compliance to the corporate culture. If I even more deeply drank the “Corporate Koolaid”, I might be promoted to a yet higher management level where I could “really make a difference”. But I suspect I’d probably become a slimy, butt-kissing sycophant, like those others who currently occupy those positions. That’s certainly what the pathway looks like. And find myself comfortable being resigned to that too.
Get along to go along, and too much of the time getting along looks like not talking straight. I also justify my use of veiled communication by collecting stories where talking straight got folks fired, or in politics got folks killed. I response to the way the world occurs, I use euphemisms, code words, and adopt the corporate Orwellian language. Talking in anodynes.
Enough Already, this situation is intolerable!
When I talk straight, what I say might disturb you. I’m not saying it to deliberately provoke you.
For me to communicate something to you, to have you see it for yourself, I need to acutely listen to you. This doesn’t mean I should be merely responsive to my personal characterization of your world view or your always already way of interpreting. If I listen in this way, what I am actually doing is, being responsive to my own characterization of your being in the world. This method of listening might be in line with our cultures dominant liberal psychological view.
If I listen in this limited way, I have turned your listening into a thing, some kind of “context of presuppositions” which I navigate and manipulate. This turns you, the listener, into a thing, it is literally dehumanizing.
Instead, in the moment of my communicating, I must be in your listening, stand next to you in your world and open it up by sharing possibilities with you, so that you see what I am sharing in your world. You then see it as a real phenomenon in the