And how bad you are at interpreting what others say to you?
If not, you are living in a very muddled world that is probably “anchored” to nothing more than your “feelings,” your “identity,” or some form of extrinsic “belief” or “faith” in your nation, group, religion, career.
Either you are a sort of slave to a public semiotic (religion, ethnicity, career, etc.) or you are a sort of slave to your muddled interior—your volatile emotional sense of “who” you “are.”
The only way I know of to fully comprehend how badly you speak and listen is to do FIML practice.
You may understand in the abstract how wrong and ambiguous speech and listening frequently are, but if you don’t do FIML you won’t be able to see with any specificity how wrong you are and where and why. If your understanding is only general or abstract, it will function as just another level of ambiguity, another source of mistakes.
Mildly sorry for being so blunt, but it’s true. Only FIML, or something very similar, can give you and your partner real-time access to objectively agreed upon communication mistakes being made between you. And there is no general or abstract substitute for that.
Even a single mistake can have massive consequences. But we all make dozens of mistakes every day.
first posted AUGUST 8, 2013