Why we need Functional Interpersonal Meta Linguistics (FIML)

We need Functional Interpersonal Meta Linguistics (FIML) because human communication is fraught with error. Communication errors are unavoidable. They happen very often.

At the most basic level, errors occur because the speaker misspoke or because the listener misheard. Basic errors may involve words, expressions, gestures, or tone of voice.

More complex errors may involve misunderstandings concerning context, intention, or interpretation.

In normal communication, most people do not correct these sorts of errors. Instead, they react to them not as if they were errors but rather the real intention of the speaker. Sometimes, of course, people do attempt to understand and correct communication errors, but most do not do this often enough or with sufficient appreciation for the potential significance of even small errors. Even very basic communication errors can lead people into a mutual spiral of deep misunderstanding.

Functional Interpersonal Meta Linguistics (FIML) is a practice designed to help couples or close friends quickly understand and deal with the errors that inevitably occur in their communications with each other.

Functional Interpersonal Meta Linguistics (FIML)

What is it?

Linguistics means language and allied communication systems–gesture, expression, tone of voice, etc.

Meta means the ability to view language and our use of language from outside, or from a higher or more objective point of view.

Interpersonal means between two or more people.

Functional means how the language we use works; how it seems to us and how it is interpreted by others while it is being used.

The main focus of FIML is the functioning linguistic dynamic between two people as it unfolds in real time.

FIML is an active practice as well as a theory of language and communication. Since it must be practiced to be fully understood, FIML  might well be called a “theoricum” (theory + practicum) rather than a theory.