So much of our lives are comprised of two things: Doing and Saying
How often do we stop and think about the motivations behind the things we do or say?
Let's try something...
Tʜɪɴᴋ ᴏꜰ ᴛʜᴇ ʟᴀsᴛ ᴛɪᴍᴇ ʏᴏᴜ ᴀsᴋᴇᴅ sᴏᴍᴇᴏɴᴇ "ʜᴏᴡ ᴀʀᴇ ʏᴏᴜ﹖". Tᴀᴋᴇ ᴀ ᴍᴏᴍᴇɴᴛ ᴀɴᴅ ᴀᴄᴛᴜᴀʟʟʏ ʀᴇᴄᴀʟʟ ᴛʜᴀᴛ sɪᴛᴜᴀᴛɪᴏɴ ɴᴏᴡ.
What was your motivation for asking
→Did you want the person to feel cared for? →Were filling the awkward silence? →Were you feeling genuinely curious because you were aware the person was struggling last time you spoke? →...something else?
𝐄𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐰𝐞 𝐝𝐨 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐬𝐚𝐲 𝐡𝐚𝐬 𝐚 𝐦𝐨𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐛𝐞𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐝 𝐢𝐭 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐰𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐳𝐞 𝐢𝐭 𝐨𝐫 𝐧𝐨𝐭. And sometimes bringing some awareness to our motivation can teach us more about our inner worlds. If what we're wanting in life is different results, then the more we understand our motivation, the more we can make different choices next time.
Are you ready to go a bit deeper?
What is the 𝘞𝘏𝘠 to your 𝘞𝘏𝘠? And what I mean by that is, what's underneath the motivation you just noticed?
So for example, if your motivation in asking "how are you" was to fill the awkward silence...
I'm curious... what had you wanting to fill the silence?
→Does silence make you uncomfortable? →Do you think silence in a conversation means something's wrong? →Do you want to make sure the person knows you're engaged?
Let's try this again.
Tʜɪs ᴛɪᴍᴇ, ᴛʜɪɴᴋ ᴏꜰ ᴀ ʀᴇᴄᴇɴᴛ ᴄᴏɴᴠᴇʀsᴀᴛɪᴏɴ ʏᴏᴜ ʜᴀᴅ ᴡɪᴛʜ sᴏᴍᴇᴏɴᴇ ᴄʟᴏsᴇ ᴛᴏ ʏᴏᴜ. Pᴇʀʜᴀᴘs ᴀ ᴄᴏɴᴠᴇʀsᴀᴛɪᴏɴ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴅɪᴅɴ'ᴛ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴛʜᴇ ᴏᴜᴛᴄᴏᴍᴇ ʏᴏᴜ ᴡᴏᴜʟᴅ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ʟɪᴋᴇᴅ. Rᴇꜰʟᴇᴄᴛ ʙᴀᴄᴋ ᴏɴ sᴏᴍᴇᴛʜɪɴɢ ʏᴏᴜ sᴀɪᴅ.
What was the underlying motivation behind what you said?And what was underneath that motivation
I'm curious, now that you see your motivations, would you have liked to say something in a different way?
There is an exercise we teach that is quite literally comprised of practicing this skill...In the exercise, a real discussion takes place, and rather than saying or doing the thing we feel inclined to do or say, we only label it and then share our "whys".
For example... "𝘙𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘐'𝘥 𝘤𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘬 𝘢 𝘫𝘰𝘬𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘐 𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘭𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘦𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘰𝘰𝘥... 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘐 𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘰𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘮𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘨𝘰𝘰𝘥 𝘧𝘦𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴 𝘴𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘮𝘦"
"𝘙𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘐'𝘥 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘺 𝘴𝘪𝘭𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘪𝘵 𝘧𝘦𝘦𝘭𝘴 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘯 𝘵𝘳𝘺𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘫𝘦𝘤𝘵 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘨𝘳𝘰𝘸𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘶𝘱 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘢𝘭𝘸𝘢𝘺𝘴 𝘵𝘢𝘭𝘬𝘦𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘢 𝘣𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘬 𝘴𝘰 𝘐 𝘨𝘰𝘵 𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘪𝘵."
"𝘙𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘯𝘰𝘸, 𝘐'𝘥 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘯 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘺𝘰𝘶'𝘳𝘦 𝘸𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘐'𝘮 𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘢𝘭𝘬 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘐 𝘧𝘦𝘦𝘭 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵'𝘴 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘮𝘦 𝘰𝘶𝘵"
It's a fun activity to play with friends & family, too. Whether you practice this with others or notice it internally, give it a try and let me know how it goes!