Dec 04, 2014

Communication – Identification

Have you been labeled?

Have you been labeled?

When attempting to communicate, we tend to label people, things, behaviors, etc. This is called Identification. When we Identify, we confuse or mistake our impression or reaction to something as the something itself. We allow the initial stimulus to determine our response, without taking the time to evaluate the stimulus. Here are a few examples of Identification:
• Mistaking the word as the thing, or the “map” as the real terrain. How many times have you known someone that was exhibiting certain unpleasant symptoms and, after going to the doctor and being labeled with a disease (Fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritus, neuropothy, etc.), the symptoms become more intense and pervasive? Why? Many times it’s because of the fact that it has been indentified and labeled, which, to the person, means they have become what they were labeled as. The disease is now real.
• Have you ever been disappointed when you arrived at a hotel by your Deluxe accommodations that weren’t so deluxe?
• When driving, someone upsets you by invading the space around your car and almost causes an accident. You label that person as _______. And, forever more in your mind they are a _________.
• Imagine someone who is allergic to a flower. If you gave that person a very real-looking silk flower and the person had an allergic reaction that would be identification.
• Someone who eats an unfamiliar food, then later has a rather upsetting reaction when informed what the food was, isn’t reacting to the food. The person is reacting to the sound of the name of the food. The verbalized name is associated (identified) with a previous or imagined terrible experience and that drives the reaction.

We then make the following assumption; If it is what I say it is, it is perfectly safe for me to guide myself entirely in terms of my verbal formulation. I don’t have to look out at the world again at all because I have in me words which are the exact equivalent to it.

How can we rectify and avoid Identification? Knowing that the words we use are the perspective we hold at a specific moment in time and are changeable. The person who almost ran into our car isn’t always a _______. A person who is told that they have a disease may have been misdiagnosed. (I encourage you to look up the Nocebo Effect and the problems doctors create when they mis-label a person’s symptoms.) The thing we use to cut meat with isn’t a knife, it is what we have chosen to call a “knife”.

I’d like for you to consider a few people, behaviors, emotions, and things that you have identified and labeled. Now, notice how changeable the labels are. The person that was once your “soul-mate” is now the “scum of the earth”. The behavior you once found “exciting” is now “disgusting”. These exercises will help you fully realize that there is a need for caution as you communicate with others (and yourself) because, what you once labeled something as, it now isn’t.

(The information contained in the posts and newsletters on “Communication” are taken from my training titled “Stealth Communication” which is available to organizations that desire to significantly increase their effectiveness and massively raise their productivity. Contact me for details.)

Creating life in forward motion,

Dr. Edward Lewellen